(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Armchair Esquire"

UNIVERSITY 
OF FLORIDA 
LIBRARÎES 




Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2011 with funding from 

LYRASIS IVIembers and Sloan Foundation 



http://www.archive.org/details/armchairesquireOOunse 



THE ARMCHAIR 



lAqiii/iL. 



THE ARMCHAIR 




\ 



Edited by ARNOLD GINGRICH 



and L. RUST HILLS 



INTRODUCTION BY GranvUle Hicks 




G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS New York 



© 1958 by Esquire, Inc. 



Copyright © 1934, 1935, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1942, 
1943» 1945' 1953» 1956, 1957» 1958 by Esquire, Inc. 

AU rights reserved. This book, or parts thereof, must 

not he reproduced in any form ivithout permission. 

Published simultané ously in the Dominion of Canada 

by Longmans, Green & Company, Toronto. 

Library of Congress Catalog 
Card Number: 58-12176 

MANUFACTURED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 



"With Other Eyes" by Luigi Pirandello, reprinted by permission of 
the author's heirs, © 1934 by Esquire, Inc. 

"Turn About Is Pair" by D. H. Lawrence, reprinted by permission 
of the author's estate, © 1934 by Esquire, Inc. 

"Fly Away Ladybird" by Conrad Aiken, reprinted by permission of 
author, © 1934 by Esquire, Inc. 

"Reflexshuns on Iggurunce" by Ezra Pound, reprinted by permission 
of the author, © 1934 by Esquire, Inc. 

"Exit the Boob" reprinted from E. E. Cummings: A Miscellany, The 
Argophile Press, by E. E. Cummings, reprinted by permission of 
Brandt & Brandt, © 1935 by Esquire, Inc. 

"Arnold Pentland" ("A Kinsman of His Blood"), from The Hills 
Beyond by Thomas Wolfe, reprinted by permission of Harper & 
Brothers, © 1935 by Maxwell Perkins, as Executor. 
"The Celebrity" reprinted from U. S. A. by John Dos Passos, pub- 
lished by Houghton Mifflin Co., © 1935 by John Dos Passos. 
"The Godly Warrior" reprinted from Stories of Three Décades 
under the title "Gladius Dei" by Thomas Mann, translated by H. T. 
Lowe -Porter by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., © 1936 Alfred 
A. Knopf, Inc. 

"Three Acts of Music" by F. Scott Fitzgerald, reprinted by permis- 
sion of Harold Ober Associates, Inc., © 1936 by Frances S. F. 
Lanahan. 



"Life in a Prison Cell" by Maxim Gorki, reprinted by permission of 
Am-Rus Literary and Music Agency, © 1937 by Esquire, Inc. 
"Heavenly and Earthly Love" by Ferenc Molnar, reprinted by per- 
mission of the estate of Ferenc Molnar, deceased, © 1935 by Review 
of Reviews Corporation. 

"The Tithe of the Lord" by Théodore Dreiser, reprinted by permis- 
sion of the author's estate, © 1938 by Esquire, Inc. 
"The Butterfly and the Tank" by Ernest Hemingway, reprinted by 
permission of the author, © 1938 by Ernest Hemingway. 
"Dreiser at Spoon River" by Edgar Lee Masters, reprinted by per- 
mission of Mrs. Edgar Lee Masters, © 1939 by Esquire, Inc. 
"The Captain Is a Gard" by Nelson Algren, reprinted by permission 
of Mcintosh and Otis, Inc., © 1942 by Esquire, Inc. 
"An Evening on the House" by H. L. Mencken, © 1943 by Esquire, 
Inc. 

"Gentlemen, This Is Révolution" by Sinclair Lewis, reprinted by 
permission of the author's estate, © 1945 by Esquire, Inc. 
"This Sandwich Has No Mayonnaise" by J. D. Salinger, © 1945 by 
J. D. Salinger. 

"The Language of Men" by Norman Ma,iler, reprinted by permission 
of the author, © 1953 by Esquire, Inc. 

"Saint Francis Xavier's Bones" by Evelyn Waugh, reprinted by per- 
mission of A. D. Peters, © 1953 by Esquire, Inc. 

"The Spirit of Algiers" reprinted in somewhat différent form in The 
Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus, translated by Justin O'Brien by 
permission of Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., © 1955 by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. 
"The Chinese Dog" by Alberto Moravia, reprinted by permission of 
James Brown Associates, © 1955 by Valentino Bompiani & Co. 
"Brave New World Revisited" by Aldous Huxley, reprinted by per- 
mission of the author, © 1956 by Esquire, Inc. 

"The Case of Arthur Miller" by John Steinbeck, reprinted by per- 
mission of Mcintosh and Otis, © 1957 by John Steinbeck. 
"The Question of Ezra Pound" by Richard H. Rovere, reprinted by 
permission of the author, © 1957 by Esquire, Inc. 
"The Misfits" by Arthur Miller, reprinted by permission of the 
author, © 1957 by Arthur Miller. 

"Leaving the Yellow House" by Saul Bellow, reprinted by permission 
of the author, © 1957 by Esquire, Inc. 

"Letters to Alice Lockett" by Bernard Shaw, reprinted by permission 
of The Society of Authors and the Public Trustée, © 1958 by 
Esquire, Inc. 

"Memoirs of Mencken and Fitzgerald" ("The Happiest Days of 
H. L. Mencken" and "The Golden Boy of the Twenties") by George 
Jean Nathan, reprinted by permission of the author's estate, © 1957 
and 1958 by Esquire, Inc. 



/ 



Contents 



INTRODUCTION: The Literary Scène, 193 3-1958 
BY Granville Hicks 

PREFACE: The Vintage Years by Arnold Gingrich 



Liiigi Pirandello 

D. H. Lawrence ' 
Conrad Aiken 
Ezra Found 

E. E. Cummings 
Thomas Wolfe 
John Dos Passos 
T h 077ms Mam^ 

F. Scott Fitzgerald 
Maxim Gorki 
Fereiïc Molnar 
Théodore Dreiser 
Ernest Hemingway 
Edgar Lee Masters 
Nelson Algren 

H. L. Mencken 
Sinclair Lewis 
J. D. Salinger 
Norman Mailer 
Evelyn Waugh 
Albert Cavms 
Alberto Moravia 
Aidons Huxley 
John Steinbeck 
Richard H. Rovere 
Arthur Miller 
Said Bellow 
Beriiard Shaw 
George Jea7i Nathan 
APPENDÎX: A Check 
to Esquire, 193 3-1958 



WiTH Other Eyes 

TURNABOUT Is FaIR 

Fly Away Ladybird 
Reflexshuns on Iggurunce 

EXIT THE BoOB 

Arnold Pentland 
The Celebrity 
The Godly Warrior 
Three Acts of Music 
Life in a Prison Cell 
Heavenly and Earthly Love 
The Tithe of the Lord 
The Butterfly and the Tank 
Dreiser at Spoon River 
The Captain Is a Card 
An Evening on the House 
Gentlemen, This Is Révolution 
This Sandwich Has No Mayonnaise 
The Language of Men 
St. Francis Xavier's Bones 
The Spirit of Algiers 
The Chinese Dog 
Brave New World Revisited 
The Case of Arthur Miller 
The Question of Ezra Pound 
The Misfits 

Leaving THE Yellow House 
Letters to Alice Lockett 
Memoirs of Mencken and Fitzgerald 
List of Contributions of Literary Import 



9 

17 

25 

33 
40 

48 

54 
60 

69 

77 

92 

99 
112 

118 

135 

145 
161 

172 

181 

187 

198 

210 

221 

230 

236 

245 

249 

267 

298 

331 
340 

357 



/ 



htroàuaion 



THE LITERARY SCENE, 1933-1958 

The reader has only to glance at the table of contents of this 
anthology to see how many distinguished contributors Esquive has 
had in the twenty-five years of its existence. Hère is rich fare, a 
strikingly diversified collection of stories and articles, many of 
which hâve not previously appeared in book form. The sélections 
are fresh and remarkably readable, and the volume makes a most 
satisfactory armchair companion. 

The volume also belongs to literary history. 

'>The autumn of 1933 seems, as one takes the first look backward, 
an inauspicious time for the introduction of a magazine such as 
Esquire aspired to be. Although Franklin D. Roosevelt had been 
in office for a few months, and had introduced some of the meas- 
ures that enraged so many of the wealthy and encouraged millions 
of other Americans, the dépression had continued to deepen. If 
the magazine had been started in 1923, it would hâve had six boom 
years in which to entertain and instruct a génération of young men 
with money in their pockets. A décade later its potential audience 
had shrunk and seemed likely to go on shrinking. In an autumn in 
which the word "révolution" was often heard, spoken now with 
horror and now with hope, the publication of Esquire seemed either 
a pièce of unpardonable insolence or a gallant but futile gesture. 
However, we can now see that in one important way the young 
Esquire had the best luck a magazine can hâve: a supply of good 
writers. The 1920's had confirmed the réputations of a number of 
men who had begun writing before the First World War, among 
them Théodore Dreiser, Sherwood Anderson, Sinclair Lewis, H. L. 
Mencken. Moreover, the twenties themselves had suddenly and 
richly brought forth John Dos Passos, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest 
Hemingway, William Faulkner, Cummings, and Thomas Wolfe. 
Beginning their careers almost as Esquire began its career were 
John Steinbeck and James T. Farrell. With the exception of 



INTRODUCTION 

Faulkner, ail the men I hâve mentioned contributed to Esquîre at 
one time or another. Some of them made many contributions, and, 
I am sure, were grateful for the existence, in a world of earnest, 
insolvent little magazines, of a magazine that paid cash. 

It was never the purpose of the magazine to represent American 
literature according to some comprehensive scheme; the editors 
sought to find contributions that they liked and hoped the readers 
would like. Yet it is interesting to notice how often, especially in 
its first half-dozen years and again in récent years, contributions 
to Esquîre hâve belonged in the literary mainstream. 

Take the case of John Dos Passos. Disillusioned by the First 
World War, he began asking hirpgelf, even in the prospérons 
twenties, v^hether fundamental économie and social changes were 
not needed in America, and when the dépression began, he was one 
of the first American writers to ask, Why not communism? 
Never firmly committed to the communist cause, and as much a 
pioneer in disillusionment as he had been in involvement, Dos 
Passos nevertheless strongly influenced the intellectuals who 
moved leftward in the thirties. The Big Money, the third of the 
novels that compose U.S. A., came out of a mood somewhere 
between sympathy and disenchantment, but it is sternly critical of 
capitalist économies and especially capitalist culture. The story 
published hère, "The Celebrity," is a considerably altered version of 
an épisode in that novel. Its thème is fraud, a kind of accidentai, 
aimless fraud, a fraud really forced upon rather than chosen by the 
young man from the sticks, and exactly this kind of fraud is 
central in The Big Money. 

Ernest Hemingway was slower than Dos Passos in arriving at 
what the jargon of the times called "social consciousness," but he 
did hâve his moment of snow blindness — to use Edmund Wilson's 
phrase. Hemingway was a natural for Esquive, a good writer who 
was also a sort of self-fashioned image of masculinity, a man 
interested in everything that is supposed to interest men. To Esquire 
he contributed articles, usually short, on many topics, from the 
art of writing to the art of deep-sea fishing, and in some of thèse 
one finds material of which he made use in To Hâve and Hâve 
Not, which was published in 1937. It was not until he served as a 
journalist in Spain during the Civil War that Hemingway defi- 
nitely took sides. As is well known, he was able to curb his 

10 



INTRODUCTION 

partisanship by the time he wrote For Whom the Bell Tolls, 
published in 1940, but it is interesting to see that in "The Butterfly 
and the Tank," one of "Three Stories of Chicote's," written while 
his sympathy for the Loyalists was at its height, objectivity tri- 
umphs. 

Of course, there were many American writers in the thirties 
who were indiffèrent or hostile to Marxism. Conrad Aiken, for 
instance, went his own way in both poetry and prose. Then there 
was E. E. Cummings. He had gone to the Soviet Union in the 
early thirties, and, as Eimi demonstrated, had not been impressed. 
In "Exit the Boob" one fînds him saying in 1935 the same things 
he was to say twenty years later in his non-lectures at Harvard and 
saying them in the same tone of voice. But in the thirties such 
sentiments were less generally acceptable than they are, at least in 
literary circles, in the fifties, and Cummings was often attacked as 
irresponsible and antisocial. 

Ezra Pound was also preaching individualism in Esquive in the 
early thirties, but his brand of individualism, by a curions process 
described by Richard H. Rovere in his contribution to the book, 
was to lead him to become an apologist for Mussolini's corporate 
State. Like Cummings, Pound was primarily a poet, but, unlike 
Cummings, he was also a reformer, and it was his passion for 
reform that got him into trouble. Since his "Reflexshuns on Ig- 
gurunce" eventually tackles the problem of money, note what 
Rovere says: "It was no doubt always in the cards that Pound 
would reach for the purely mechanical device — currency reform — 
for righting social wrongs." He moved from discontent with 
Society, to an interest in Social Crédit, to a hatred of those he 
called usurers, to anti-Semitism, to advocacy of fascism. 

As Rovere points out, Pound's course toward fascism parallels 
the course taken by many of his younger contemporaries toward 
communism. The créative writer is perhaps particularly likely to 
be misled by Systems of universal reform. The writer does not 
ordinarily hâve an acute interest in social questions as such; he is 
too much absorbed by his own problems; but he does hâve eyes, 
and he may hâve a conscience; and when he sees a people suffering 
as the American people suffered in the Great Dépression, he can 
easily be convinced that something must be done. What makes him 
accept some ail-inclusive remedy is his désire to hâve social ques- 

II 



INTRODUCTION 

tions disposed of once and for ail, so that he can go about what he 
regards as his proper business. But fortunately the créative writer, 
as a gênerai rule, cannot long be comfortable with dogma. Of the 
writers who were attracted to communism in the thirties, a few 
were destroyed as writers and a few maintained a schizoid existence 
for some length of time, but the majority saw relatively soon that, 
whether or not communism would dispose of the social questions 
that were bothering them, it would certainly dispose of the values 
to which they as writers adhered. 

Among the other famous writers of the twenties and thirties we 
hâve Wolfe and Fitzgerald. The lattes wrote a great deal for the 
magazine, and from the contributions, which include the famous 
autobiographical essay, "The Crack Up," one can document some 
aspects of his décline. "Three Acts of Music" is an attempt to re- 
capture, by an act of will, the mood of some of the stories on which 
his popularity was founded. As for "Arnold Pentland," it is pure 
Tom Wolfe, full of his passion for the grotesque and the pathetic. 

Of the writers a little older than those I hâve been discussing, 
we hâve Sinclair Lewis, Théodore Dreiser, and Edgar Lee Masters. 
Lewis served for a time as Esquire's book reviewer, and his review 
of books on the Negro problem is marked by a characteristic 
acerbity and looks forward to a famous novel, Kingsblood Royal. 
Dreiser 's "The Tithe of the Lord" has exactly the quality of his 
best work, the wondering, blundering pity that sometimes turns his 
harshest prose into music. As for Masters' réminiscence of Dreiser 
in the Lincoln country, it tells us something about two men of 
letters and introduces the fascinating figure of John Armstrong. 

Another réminiscence is H. L. Mencken's "An Evening on the 
House." Although Mencken retained his powers of vitupération 
long after 1943, when this pièce appeared, he was at his best in 
the later years in his recollections of the past. A first-class brawl at 
a rowdy resort at the turn of the century was a subject to call forth 
his humor and extravagance. But there is a fine note of nostalgia 
in the pièce — as of course there is in the recollections that Menck- 
en's old partner, George Jean Nathan, wrote many years later 
about Mencken himself and about Scott Fitzgerald. 

Something should be said about the stories that came from abroad 
during the publication's early years. The names are notable — 

12 



INTRODUCTION 

Pirandello, Lawrence, Mann, Gorki, Molnar — and so are the con- 
tributions, but it would be hard to argue that they constitute a 
pattern. At any rate the variety is impressive: Gorki's harsh realism, 
Pirandello's careful fantasy, Molnar's playfulness. The D. H. 
Lawrence story, an early one somehow made available for posthu- 
mous publication, has a great freshness about it that takes the 
reader back to the less turgid pages of Sons and Lovers. Thomas 
Mann's warning against life-denying fanaticism is as pertinent now 
as it was in the days when Nazism was spreading through Europe. 
It is impressive to think that ail of thèse stories were set before 
readers of Esquive in a period of less than four years — ail this in 
addition to the rich sélection from American literature. 

The early years of Esquire were great years. Why between 1940 
and 1950 so much less was published that today seems worth 
reprinting is a question for which there must be several answers. 
One of them is that many of the new writers didn't seem to be 
Esquire writers. If only because so many men were invoived in 
the war, many of the new voices in the early f orties were women's 
voices. Consider Carson McCullers' The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter 
(1940), Eudora Welty's Curtain of Green (1941), and Jean Staf- 
ford's Boston Adventure (1944). I admired Mrs. McCullers, Miss 
Welty, and Miss Stafîord, as of course I still do, but I should hâve 
been surprise d to fînd their work in Esquire. 

Of the contributions we do hâve from the forties, one is Nelson 
Algren's account of a police line-up. This is interesting in itself 
because he has made use of the material elsewhere, and it is also 
interesting as it displays Algren in transition. Algren was one of 
the socially conscious writers of the thirties, but his social con- 
sciousness was based less on a reading of Marx and Lenin than on 
firsthand acquaintance with sufîering and exploited human beings. 
His sympathy with the underdog has survived whatever changes 
may hâve taken place in his political thinking and has remained the 
strongest force in his fiction up to and including A Walk on the 
Wild Side. 

Another striking contribution from the forties is J. D. Salinger's 
"This Sandwich Has No Mayonnaise." A more modest story than 
some he has written in récent years, it is poignant and neatly 
turned. Admirers of The Catcher in the Rye will be struck by the 

13 



INTRODUCTION 

fact that in this story, published six years before the novel, Salinger 
introduced the character of Holden Caulfield — not that Holden is 
physically présent, which is the point of the story. 

Norman Mailer was the first young writer, the fîrst young 
vétéran of World War II, to produce a war novel that made a 
strong gênerai impression. Although in The Naked and the Dead 
he sometimes sounded like the early Dos Passos and although he 
has continued to hâve a strong interest in social problems, he has 
always been an individualist. His story, "The Language of Men," 
neatly poses the problem of the man who is an individualist in spite 
of himself . ^ 

The emphasis on individualism is strong in the second part of 
this anthology. Arthur Miller flirted with Marxism in the postwar 
period, but he is obviously an individualist interested in a means 
for the émancipation of the individual. "The Misfits" is that rare 
création, a story that succeeds as a fable without losing any of its 
force as a story. 

Saul Bellow might almost be called a connoisseur of individual- 
ism. In ail his major works, and especially in The Adventures of 
Augie March, he is concerned not with the obvions pressures 
toward conformity but with the subtle temptations that can rob 
a man of his identity. For him, as he shows in Seize the Day, indi- 
viduality is not something that can be given or taken away; it is 
something that must be achieved. In "Leaving the Yellow House" 
he portrays a tough old warhorse, a woman who refuses to give in 
to either circumstance or physical infirmity and whose refusai 
becomes in the end both pathetic and heroic. 

It is not hard to understand why today such writers as Mailer 
and A4iller and Bellow and Salinger are attracted to dissenters. 
(Note also how strongly Nathan's réminiscences of Mencken and 
Fitzgerald emphasize their nonconformity.) I do not accept the 
theory, popular in some quarters, that a conspiratorial élite is 
systematically trying to reduce the American people to the con- 
dition of robots. But a society based on mass production, a society 
with a gênerons amount of leisure and with mass média to occupy 
that leisure, is not a society in which individualism naturally 
flowers. As David Riesman soberly sets forth in The Lonely 
Crowd, such a society tends to create the kind of character to 
which conformity seems both désirable and inévitable. The writer 

14 



INTRODUCTION 

knows that résistance is possible because he himself resists, although 
probably not ail pressures ail the time. Fie believes it is important 
because he believes the individual is important, and he is likely to 
seek out figures to serve as examples or even as symbols of résist- 
ance. 

The préoccupation with dissent points up the significance of the 
pièces by John Steinbeck and Richard Rovere. Steinbeck has taken 
a single incident in Arthur Miller's career, his refusai to name 
names before a Congressional investigating committee, and has 
defended the dramatist on the ground that his défiance serves the 
cause of morality. Rovere has examined critically the whole com- 
plicated career of Ezra Pound, and in doing so he has illuminated 
one of the perennial problems of the past quarter-century — the 
problem of the author who allies himself with a movement hostile 
to the theory and practice of individualism. As I write this, it hap- 
pily appears that the case of Ezra Pound has been settled, but the 
problems the case raised continue to deserve our scrutiny. 

Again it becomes necessary to comment on the contributions 
from abroad, and again one must say that they are distinguished 
and miscellaneous. Shaw's letters, written before he had created the 
legendary George Bernard Shaw, hâve charm and interest, if only 
because so many of us had come to feel that the legendary Shaw 
must always hâve existed. Waugh on Goa writes brilliant descrip- 
tion and reveals something of his philosophy, while Camus charac- 
teristically turns description to the service of philosophical gener- 
alization. 

Most striking is Aidons Huxley's revisitation of Brave New 
World: the article is so much less cocksure than the book. Huxley 
was not, of course, one of the dogmatic young revolutionaries 
back in 1932. On the contrary, he was setting out to tell the revo- 
lutionaries where they had gone wrong. The problem, he said, was 
not how to bring about but how to avoid utopia, and the novel 
resolved itself into a défense of the right to sufïer. Looking back, 
he observes, with a mixture of satisfaction and dismay, that some 
of his prédictions hâve been fulfilled, but now he seems to hâve no 
doubt that the future will hold suffering enough for everyone, and 
he dévotes much of his article to the discussion of the possibility 
of developing something like the Soma of his novel, a superior kind 
of tranquilizer, with ail of the advantages and none of the disad- 

15 



INTRODUCTION 

vantages of alcohol. The reader will hâve to décide for himself 
whether Huxley has advanced or regressed in the quarter-century. 
It is obvious that no anthology, much less an anthology chosen 
from the pages of a single magazine, can represent the diversity of 
the past twenty-five years. What one can say is that, of the names 
that corne to mind when one thinks back over those years, a sur- 
prising portion are représente d in this volume. One can also say 
that the sélections are extremely good reading. 

— Granville Hicks 



i6 



Prcfc 



ace 



THE VINTAGE YEARS 

Esquire's twenty-fifth year, which culminâtes with the publica- 
tion of this volume, began with the issuance of a cartoon album. 
Both books were derived from the pages of Esquire. But anybody 
who had never seen the magazine, and had only the two books to 
go by, would find it hard to believe. 

The disparity between the magazine's lettered side and its pic- 
tured side has long been a cause of comment and wonder. We com- 
mented on it ourselves, with some wryness, as long ago as 1940, 
in the course of the Introduction to the first volume of writings 
collected from Esquire, saying that we were (already) ''weary of 
hearing the cartoons talked about as if they characterized the con- 
tents as a whole." 

In that earlier collection, The Bedside Esquire, we had wanted 
to include 'The Godly Warrior" by Thomas Mann, which had 
appeared in the April '36 issue, and Alfred Knopf, who had re- 
ceived a copyright assignment from us to include the story in his 
volume of Thomas Mann's Stories of Three Décades, refused to 
return the courtesy for its inclusion in our collection. 

The years between hâve either mellowed Alfred Knopf or added 
stature to Esquire's literary standing, because the Thomas Mann 
story is in, this time, without dispute. 

Until the marriage of Arthur Miller and Marilyn Monroe there 
had never been such a surprising combination of intellectual and 
pictorial éléments as was represented by the teaming up between 
the same covers of Esquire's words and its pictures. But the sad 
truth that brains wear better than beauty was never more évident 
than in looking back over old issues, and seeing how much better 
the sober side of the magazine stands up under critical re-examina- 
tion today, after a lapse of anywhere up to two and a half décades, 
than the flashy side does. For the pictures were reflections of the 
passing moment, the fads and foibles and the fleeting fancies of the 

17 



PREFACE 

Stage and screen, whereas the words were concerned, in major 
part, with the verities that are eternal. 

This is not to say that ail the words added up to spell literature 
with a capital L, but merely that much of the verbal ore now assays 
to a remarkably high percentage of literary gold, whether or not 
it was consciously presented as Literature in the first place. 

For proud as we are of the ^'names" we hâve published, we are 
even prouder of the stories by authors who only later became 
famous, and a number of the items listed j the appendix and dating 
back to the thirties or early forties serve as prime examples. 

There are other instances where early contributions to the maga- 
zine's pages are now chieily of interest as literary curiosities, and 
are hère presented as such, as the head notes in those cases point 
out. 

In any case, there are représentative sélections hère dating over 
the last twenty-five years, with especial concentration in the first 
ûvQ and the last ûvt. As Granville Hicks has said, in his Introduc- 
tion relating them to the literary scène, it would be hard to argue 
that they constitute a pattern. 

And perhaps it would be sad if they did. American magazines, 
like American automobiles, seem to be increasingly characterized 
by their resemblances rather than their différences. Looking at the 
older examples, you may feel inclined to say, "They don't build 
'em like that any more." But don't forget, what you're looking at 
today is the survivor. The overwhelming success of a few makers, 
of magazines as well as automobiles, results in an increasing con- 
f ormism to success patterns, and a résultant killing off of the hind- 
most. The off beat, the irregular, the unorthodox, seem to be ac- 
quiring an unenviable scarcity value. 

Our only pattern, or touchstone, or divining rod, in assembling 
the contents of Esquire, has always been the homely rule of looking 
for "a good story, even if it is Literature." We haven't always 
achieved an exact fit. But the aim, at least, was to see to it that if 
ail our good stories couldn't be literature, at least ail our literature 
would be good stories. 

Literature, of course, is anything but an exact science. And as 
an English judge said, not long ago, "Every âge gets the literature 
it deserves." He surely could not hâve known that his thought had 
been anticipated, by better than a décade, by a letter writer in our 

i8 



PREFACE 

correspondence columns who said: *'I fînd no fault with Esquive 
that I do not fînd with the âge that produced it." But then, Whit- 
man was ahead of both of them, with "To hâve great poets, we 
must hâve great audiences." 

So when you hear, as one often does, of Esquire's "great years," 
you begin to wonder which was great, the magazine, or the au- 
dience, or the year itself. Magazines are Hke vineyards, in that you 
work just as hard one year as another, only sometimes the sun 
shines more kindly on your efforts. That's when the great years 
just happen. Sweating double won't help. It's either a great year or 
it isn't. 

Granted, Esquivées middle years were not great. From, roughly, 
'42 to '52, or approximately the magazine's second décade, our 
grapes weren't tended as carefully as they had been before and 
hâve been since. Some of us turned our backs on the vineyard for 
too long a time, and thought the vines would tend themselves. So 
you can throw out those middle years as, by no great coïncidence, 
this book has pretty much done. 

But a fair case could be made for the last ûvt years, as against 
even the fîrst five that are by now with such uniform nostalgia 
commonly considered the great years. 

Maybe this is wrong to do. Maybe one should no more attempt 
to treat literature as a compétitive sport than as an exact science. 
And after ail, you won't read this book as you would attend a game 
or a match, disappointed if one half of it doesn't beat the other. 

But in looking down a table of contents as in looking down a 
bill of fare, it is only natural that you tend to "like" one section 
more than another. And when, as in this case, the names read down 
from the past to the présent, yet are ail from the same magazine, 
the tendency is equally natural to look up to the older ones and 
down at the newer ones. 

That's where the perspective can get tricky on this business of 
great years. Vintage labels can pre-condition the palate to too much 
respect. 

An Arthur Miller or a Saul Bellow may not be as much fun to 
sit around and drink with as a Dreiser was, and neither could or 
would roU and unroll that white handkerchief over and over again 
half as fascinatingly, but either could be more fun to read, now 
or twenty-five years hence. 

19 



PREFACE 

Reading Dreiser again today it's hard to remember that he talked 
well, because his ivritten speech patterns now seem as alien to the 
mid-century tongue as those of some of the EKzabethans. 

But against that, Fitzgerald's, after twenty-two years, seem as- 
tonishingly natural, so maybe it would be better to drop the whole 
hne of argument. 

The only thing thèse writings hâve in common is their original 
appearance in the pages of Esquire. It is/foolish and futile to try to 
rank them or set them ofï against each other, either by era or by 
school or type. 

They are twenty-nine milestones or landmarks in the literary 
history of Esquire, to make the most interesting and unfamiliar 
reading. We hâve délibéra tely avoided those apparent "naturals" 
that hâve been over-often included in other collections, including 
the last two of our own. 

To hâve tried to include everything worthy of anthologizing 
that has appeared in Esquire^s pages over the past quarter century 
would hâve been to make a book too big to sell at anything like a 
price you could conceivably care to pay. 

So weVe had to content ourselves with a roU of honor that was 
tantamount to confining our citations to officers above the rank of 
major gênerai. There were an awful lot of brigadiers and colonels 
we would at least hâve liked to list. 

With this aim, we hâve included in the body of this book a 
checklist of contributions of literary distinction, which was con- 
tributed to the Bulletin of Bibliography m 1957. It was compiled 
by two scholars at the University of California, E. R. Hagemann 
and James E. Marsh, and appeared in two parts, in the Bulletin^s 
issues for January-April '57 and May-July '57, although it cov- 
ered only the "vintage years," from '33 through '41. Since then, 
however, and for the purpose of its inclusion in this volume, 
Messrs. Hagemann and Marsh hâve obligingly brought it up to 
date. 

Depending not on any say-so of ours, but on their own taste and 
judgment, they attempted to skim the literary cream off the top of 
the entire textual content of Esquire's first three hundred issues, 
and to show where else it has been bottled, or otherwise served up, 
since its first appearance in the magazine. Thus they hâve listed, 
not only the original Esquire volume, issue, and page numbers of 

20 



PREFACE 

ail contributions they considered to be of literary import, but hâve 
also attempted to indicate ail subséquent reprintings in book form. 

Viewed as an honor roll it is undoubtedly as unbiased as any 
listing can be that dépends on two persons' appraisals. But its value 
to this book seems to us to be greater than that, because it is also 
useful as a référence guide. 

Esquire is not now and never has been listed in either the Inter- 
national Index or the Reader's Guide, probably because in both 
instances they took one look at the pictures twenty-five years ago 
and never looked beyond them to notice that the magazine also 
contained words. And while most libraries hâve complète collec- 
tions of Esquire, many hâve developed the habit of keeping them 
in their rare-book rooms, presumably because people took to cut- 
ting out the pictures. 

So the serious reader, interested in Esquire's lettered side and try- 
ing to look up something like "The Crack-Up" or "The Snows of 
Kilimanjaro," is hard put to it to knov^ what issues to ask for, even 
after obtaining access to a complète back file. 

The Hagemann and Marsh checklist at the back of this volume 
now solves that problem. If you like the authors represented in this 
book enough to want to seek out their other Esquire writings, 
either in bound volumes in libraries or on the dusty shelves of 
secondhand magazine dealers, this list will lead you to them. 

Or if you don't like the writings that Rust Hills and I hâve hère 
garnered, after a trip through twenty-five years' worth of issues, 
then armed with this list you can make your own sélection. As a 
do-it-yourself project, it might be more fun. You could call it, 
after the exhilarating sport of tracking down your choices, no 
longer the Armchair, but rather the Wheelchair, Esquire. 

Arnold Gingrich 



21 



THE ARMCHAIR 



t^qui/iL. 



Luigi Piranàdlo 



WITH OTHER EYES 



Under its Italian title, "Cctz Altri Occhiy^ this story of Pirandello's 
is dated July 28, 1901; and, under the title "Through the Other 
Wife's Eyes," it appeared in the English magazine Fortnightly Review 
in 1933; the fîrst American appearance was in Esquire in July, 1934. 

One of Pirandello's early stories (he wrote over 300), "With 
Other Eyes" was written well before any of his celebrated plays 
(Six Characters in Search of an Author, for instance, appeared in 
192 1). It nevertheless reflects many of Pirandello's préoccupations 
and methods. In 1902 he published a novel called His Tum, which 
considered the situation of "With Other Eyes" in reverse: a woman's 
second husband torments himself speculating on his wife's previous 
marriage. Another interesting parallel, this one demonstrating once 
again how Nature imitâtes Art, is with Pirandello's own marriage. 
Supported by their wealthy parents, Pirandello and his wife lived 
together happily until 1904, when their parents' mines were flooded 
and they were faced with fînancial disaster. Conséquent worry and 
anxiety afïected his wife's mind and gradually drove her into hysteria 
and fits of jealousy; maniacally she would accuse her husband of 
treachery, unfaithfulness; and in her insanity she drove her own 
daughter to attempt suicide. The préoccupation with unfaithfulness 
in "With Other Eyes" appeared, of course, several years earlier. 

Pirandello's characteristic interest in the problems of illusion vs. 
reality is présent hère too, as is his constant thème (in Walter 
Starkie's words) that "what makes life is the reality you give to it. 
Every character sufïers from some fixation to the point of madness. 
Life seems to be a hideous nightmare and everything is out of focus." 



AS SHE TURNED AWAY FROM THE WINDOW, WITH A SIGH, ANNA 

notice d that her husband had forgotten that morning to disturb 
his bed, as was his custom when he did not want the servants to 
know that he had not slept in his own bedroom. She leaned her 
elbows on the bed and then stretched out, pressing her blonde head 

25 



LUIGI PIRANDELLO 

on the pillows and closing her eyes as if to enjoy in the freshness 
of the linen her husband's dreams. 

Her husband was going away that evening, and she had corne 
into his room to prépare his bags. When she opened the wardrobe 
she heard a squeak in one of the inside compartments, and started 
back in alarm. Gathering her skirts around her legs, she took a 
walking stick with a curved handle from the corner and tried to 
open the door with it. When she pulled, instead of the door, a 
bright Steel blade came out of the stick. This was so unexpected 
that she shuddered and let the handle of the stick fall. 

Kicking aside the sword blade, she pulled out the compartment, 
full of old, discarded clothes of her husband. In a sudden burst of 
curiosity she began to arrange them and, as she replaced a faded 
old jacket, she felt something in the pocket which crackled like 
a letter. She wondered what the letter could be which had lain 
there forgotten for so many years. In this way Anna discovered 
the photograph of her husband's first wife. 

Pale with excitement she ran to the window, and stood for quite 
a while staring at this unknown image. 

The huge cape and old-fashioned clothes prevented her at first 
from seeing how beautiful that face was. But as soon as she realized 
the features, disconnecting them from the clothes of the period, she 
was struck by the eyes, and was filled with a feeling of jealousy 
and hatred; her jealousy was posthumous, but her hâte was mixed 
with the contempt which she had felt for the other woman, when 
she had married her présent husband. That was eleven years after 
the domestic tragedy which had suddenly destroyed his first house- 
hold. 

Anna had hated that woman, because she could not understand 
how she could hâve been unfaithful to the man whom she now 
adored. She also hated her because her own parents had opposed 
her marriage to Brivio, as if he were responsible for the disgrâce 
and violent death of the unfaithful wife. 

She knew this must be Victor 's first wife; the woman who had 
killed herself ! This was proved by the inscription on the back of 
the photograph: "To my darling Victor, from his Almira. Novem- 
ber II, 1913." 

Anna's knowledge of her death was very vague. AU she knew 
was that, when her husband discovered he was being deceived, 

26 



WITH OTHER EYES 

with the impassiveness of a judge, he compelled her to take her own 
life. 

At the moment she recalled with satisfaction her husband's 
condemnation, because she was exasperated by that "darUng Vic- 
tor" and that "his Almira," as if that woman had wanted to show 
how close were the bonds which existed between her and Victor, 
just simply to annoy her. 

This fîrst émotion of hâte prompted by her sensé of rivalry was 
followed by a féminine curiosity to examine the features of that 
face, a curiosity almost restrained by that strange consternation 
which one expériences on seeing something that has belonged to 
someone who died a tragic death, a consternation ail the more 
profound in her case because it was bound up with her love for 
the husband, who had once belonged to this other woman. 

Looking at the face, Anna immediately noticed how unlike her 
own it was. And at once she wondered in her heart how on earth 
her husband could ever hâve loved this woman — though he cer- 
tainly must hâve thought her beautiful — if he could then fall in 
love with a person as différent as herself. 

Even to her this face seemed beautiful, much more beautiful 
than her own, and in the picture she seemed to be a brunette, and 
to think that those lips had kissed her husband's! But why those 
sad lines around the mouth? Why the melancholy in those intense 
eyes? The whole face inspired deep sympathy, and Anna was 
almost annoyed by the gentle and real kindness which thèse 
features expressed. With a sudden movement of repulsion and 
disgust she seemed to see in those eyes the same exppression as she 
noticed in her own, when she looked at herself in the mirror in the 
morning, and thought of her husband, after they had spent the 
night together. 

She had scarcely time to hide the photograph in her pocket 
when her husband appeared in the doorway and jokingly said: 

"What hâve you been doing? As usual, youVe been putting 
things in order, I suppose! God help me, now Fil ne ver be able to 
find anything!" 

Noticing the sword stick on the ground, he added: 

"Aha! So you've been fencing with the clothes in the ward- 
robe?" 

He gave one of those laughs of his which seemed to issue only 

27 



LUIGI PIRANDELLO 

from his throat, and as he laughed he looked at his wife as if he 
were asking her the reasoii for his laughter. As he looked at her, 
his sharp, black, restless eyes blinked rapidly. 

Victor Brivio treated his wife hke a child who was incapable of 
anything more than that ingenuous and almost infantile love with 
which she had surrounded him, which often bored him, and to 
which he had proposed to pay attention only from time to time, 
even then, showing a certain condescension mixed with irony. It 
was as if he wanted to say: "Oh, very well! For the time being 
ru be a child like you. A man has to do that sort of thing, but don't 
let us waste too much time over it!" 

Anna had let the old jacket fall, in which she had found the 
photograph. He picked it up with the point of the stick, went to 
the window and called to his servant in the garden. When the boy 
appeared in front of the window, Brivio threw the faded coat in 
his face saying: "This is for you." 

"Now you will hâve less to dust," he added, turning to his wife, 
"and to set in order, I hope!" 

Again he uttered that forced laugh of his, his eyelids blinking 
rapidly. 

Her husband had often before left the city, and not only for a 
day, but also for a night, as on this occasion. Afïected by the 
discovery of the photograph, Anna had a curious fear of being 
alone, as she weepingly confessed to her husband. 

Victor Brivio was complet ely absorbe d in his own affairs and 
was fussing about being late, so he did not receive his wife's un- 
usual complaint very sympathetically. 

"What! Why? Come, come, don't be a baby! " 

He left the house in a rage without even saying goodbye. 

Anna started, as the door banged behind him. There were tears 
in her eyes as she hastened to her room to go to bed. 

"You can go," said Anna to her maid who was waiting. "Fil 
undress myself. Good night." 

She began to undress rapidly, staring at the floor in front of her. 
As her clothes slipped to the floor, she remembered that the photo- 
graph was there, and she had the feehng that those sad eyes were 
looking at her compassionately. She stooped resolutely to pick up 
her clothes, and threw them, without folding them, on a chair at 

28 



WITH OTHER EYES 

the foot of the bed, as if she would thus be able to avoid the image 
of the dead woman, by leaving the photograph hidden. 

As soon as she was in bed, she closed her eyes, and forced herself 
to think of the route her husband would take to the railway station. 
She was anxiously fîghting the thoughts which had compelled her 
ail day to observe and study her husband. She knew what obsession 
had caused her to do this, and she wanted to get rid of it. 

She had the vague sensation that for the last three years, from 
the moment that she left her father's house, she had been living in 
a vacuum of which she was only just beginning to be conscious. 
She had not noticed this emptiness before, because she had filled it 
with her love, ail unaided. Now she noticed it, because during the 
entire day she had held her love in abeyance, in order to see, to 
watch, to judge. 

"He did not even say goodbye," she thought, and again she 
began to cry, as if this thought were the real reason for her tears. 

She sat up in bed, and suddenly reached out her hand to get her 
handkerchief. Now it was useless to prétend that she should not 
and could not look again at the photograph. She found it and 
turned on the light again. 

How difïerently she had imagined this woman! Now that she 
looked at the real face, she had a sensé of remorse for the feelings 
which the imaginary picture had inspired in her. She had imagined 
a rather stout and rubicund woman, with laughing, flashing eyes, 
and full of vulgar merriment. Instead, hère was the picture of a 
young girl whose features expressed a deep and melancholy soûl. 
A différent woman from herself, it is true, but not in the worst 
sensé, as she had previously imagined. On the contrary, this 
melancholy mouth looked as if it had never smiled, whereas her 
own had smiled so often and so happily. Certainly, as appeared 
from the photograph, she was a brunette, and lacked her own 
blonde, rosy, smihng face. 

But why, why, was she so sad? 

A horrible thought suddenly struck her mind and took her 
thoughts away from this woman. Unexpectedly she had stumbled 
upon a threat, not only to her peace, to her love, which had already 
been deeply wounded, but also to her pride as an honest woman, 
who had never entertained the remotest doubt concerning her 

29 



LUIGI PIRANDELLO 

husband. This other woman had had a lover, and it was because 
of her lover, and not because of her husband, that she was so sad! 

She threw the photograph onto the night table and turned out 
the light, hoping to fall asleep this time without thinking of this 
woman, with whom she now had nothing in common. But, when 
she closed her eyes, she could not help seeing the eyes of the dead 
woman, and it was in vain that she tried to drive away the vision. 

"It was not for his sake, not for him!" she murmured obstinately, 
as if she could get rid of this woman by insulting her. 

She tried hard to recall whatever she had heard of that other 
man, the lover, in an effort to direct that glance and the sadness of 
those eyes towards the lover, and not towards herself, the lover of 
whom she knew nothing but the name, Arthur Valli. She knew 
that he had married a few years later, as if to prove that he was 
innocent of the crime of which Brivio accused him. He had refused 
emphatically to fight a duel with the latter, on the ground that he 
did not fight with homicidal maniacs. After that, Victor had 
threatened to kill him wherever he might meet him, even if in 
church. Then he had left the country with his wife and did not 
return until Victor went abroad after his second marriage. 

Suddenly, Anna was completely fiUed with the sadness of the 
e vents she had recalled: the vileness of Valli and, after so many 
years, her husband's indifférence, which had enabled him to re- 
marry and start life again, as if nothing had happened; the happiness 
which she herself had experienced on becoming his wife, the three 
years which she had spent without ever thinking of that other 
woman. The picture came vividly before her, but as if from a 
great distance, and it seemed as if those eyes, full of such intense 
unhappiness, were saying, with a shake of the head: "Ail of you 
people are alive, but I alone am dead!" 

She felt terribly alone in the house, and she was afraid. It is 
true, she was alive, but for three years, ever since the day of her 
marriage, she had never even once seen her parents and her sister. 
She, who had adored them and had always been obedient and 
trusting, she had risen in revolt against their wishes and against 
their advice, because of her love for this man. For love of him she 
had fallen mortally ill, and she would hâve died, if the doctors had 
not induced her father to consent to the marriage. Her father did 
not consent, but he surrendered, swearing that, as far as he and 

30 



WITH OTHER EYES 

the family were concerned, she would be as if she had never 
existed. There was not only the différence of âge, her husband 
being eighteen years older than she, but the even more serious 
obstacle, from her father's point of view, of his financial position, 
which was subject to rapid ups and downs, by reason of the risky 
undertakings in which he became involved, because of his rash 
faith in himself and in his luck. 

In her three years of marriage, surrounded by comforts, Anna 
had concluded that her father's views were unjust or dictated by 
préjudice, so far as her husband's fortune was concerned, about 
which in her ignorance she entertained the same faith as he had in 
himself. As for the différence in their âges, there had been no 
disillusionment for her, so far, and no subject of surprise for other 
people. Victor Brivio did not feel the damage of time in his 
vivacious and nervous body, and even less in his mind, which was 
filled with indefatigable energy and eager restlessness. 

Now that she was considering her life for the first time, without 
suspecting it, with the eyes of the dead woman, she found reason 
to complain of her husband. It is truc, that she had been wounded 
on several occasions by his almost contemptuous indifférence to- 
wards her, but never so deeply as today. Now, for the first time, 
she felt desperately alone, separated from her parents, who seemed 
at this moment to hâve abandoned her, as if, by marrying Victor, 
she had something in common with his dead wife and was not 
worthy of other companionship. Her husband, who ought to hâve 
consoled her, appeared unwilling to give her any crédit for the 
sacrifice she had made to him of her filial and family affection, as 
if that had cost her nothing, as if he had a right to this sacrifice, 
and therefore no duty on his part could compensate her for it. 
Perhaps he had a right, but then why did she so hopelessly fall in 
love with him? Surely it was then his duty to compensate her? 
Instead of which . . . 

"That is always the way!" It seemed to Anna that thèse words 
came to her from the sad lips of the dead woman. 

She turned on the light again and, as she looked at the photo- 
graph, she was struck by the expression in the eyes. So you, too, 
hâve really suffered through him? You, too, hâve felt that heart- 
breaking emptiness, when you saw that you were no longer 
loved? 

31 



LUIGI PIRANDELLO 

"Really? Really?" Anna asked the picture, choked with tears. 

Then it seemed to her that those kindly eyes, filled with passion, 
were pitying her in their turn, sympathizing with her in her 
abandonment, sympathizing with her unrewarded sacrifice, with 
the love which remained locked up in her breast, like a treasure, 
locked in a coiïer, to which he had the keys, which he never used, 
like a miser. 



32 



D, H. Lawrence 



TURNABOUT IS FAIR 



There is difficulty dating this story of Lawrence's, which under its 
original title, "Her Turn," is mentioned in only one bibliograpliy, 
The Manuscripts of D. H. Lawrence, compiled by L. C. Powell. 
From the évidence of other stories preceding it and foUowing it in 
the bibliography, the best guess is that he wrote it sometime in the 
spring of 1912. It is possible, then, that "Her Turn" is one of the fîrst 
stories written under the influence of his wife Frieda, perhaps just 
after he met her, before they eloped to the Continent that year. 
Note the opening sentence: "She was his second wife and so there 
was between them that truce which is never held between a man and 
his first woman." 

Characteristic Lawrentian portraits are évident in the story — as in 
Sons and Lovers, Lawrence writes of his drinking coal-miner father 
and his strong-willed mother. One interesting touch worth pointing 
out is Lawrence's early use hère of the tortoise as a maie sex symbol. 
At the end of the story, the husband has smothered his rage and 
submitted to his wife. ". . . he dropped his fist to his side, turned, 
and went out muttering. He went down to the shed that stood in 
the middle of the garden. There he picked up the tortoise, and stood 
with bent head, rubbing its horny head." Later in his life Lawrence 
picked up this symbol in his six "Tortoise Poems," in which, says 
Harry T. Moore in The Intelligent Heart, "he projected the sex ex- 
périence of a man in the image of a tortoise, at once délicate and 
blundering, viewed by Lawrence in a mood combining sympathy, 
amusement and participation." 



SHE WAS HIS SECOND WIFE, AND SO THERE WAS BETWEEN THEM 

that truce which is never held between a man and his first woman. 

He was one for the women, and as such an exception among the 
colliers. In spite of their prudery, the neighbor women liked him; 
he was big, naïve, and very courteous with them; he was so, even 
to his second wife. 

Being a large man of considérable strength and perfect health, he 

33 



D. H. LAWRENCE 

earned good money in the pit. His natural courtesy saved him 
from enemies, while his fresh interest in life made his présence 
always agreeable. So he went his own way, had always plenty of 
friends, always a good job down pit. 

He gave his wife thirty-five shiUings a week. He had two 
grown-up sons at home, and they paid twelve shiUings each. There 
was only one child by the second marriage, so Radford considered 
his wife did well. 

Eighteen months ago, Bryan and Wentworth's men were ont 
on strike for eleven weeks. During that time, Mrs. Radford could 
neither cajole nor entreat nor nag the ten shilling strike-pay from 
her husband. So that when the second strike came on, she was 
prepared for action. 

Radford was going, quite inconspicuously, to the publican's 
wife at the "Golden Horn." She is a large, easy-going lady of 
forty, and her husband is sixty-three, moreover crippled with 
rheumatism. She sits in the little bar-parlour of the wayside public- 
house, knitting for dear life, and sipping a very moderate glass of 
scotch. When a décent man arrives at the three-foot width of 
bar, she rises, serves him, surveys him over, and, if she likes his 
looks, says: 

"Won't you step inside, sir?" 

If he steps inside, he will find not more than one or two men 
présent. The room is warm, quite small. The landlady knits. She 
gives a few polite words to the stranger, then résumes her conversa- 
tion with the men who interest her most. She is straight, highly- 
coloured, with indiffèrent brown eyes. 

"What was that you asked me, Mr. Radford?" 

*'What is the différence between a donkey's tail and a rainbow?" 
asked Radford who had a consuming passion for conundrums. 

"Ail the différence in the world," replied the landlady. 

"Yes, but what spécial différence?" 

"I s'il hâve to give it up again. You'll think me a donkey's head, 
l'm afraid." 

"Not likely. But just you consider now, wheer . . ." 

The conundrum was still under weigh, when a girl entered. She 
was swarthy, a fine animal. After she had gone out: 

"Do you know who that is?" asked the landlady. 

"I can't say as I do," replied Radford. 

34 



TURNABOUT IS FAIR 

"She's Frederick Pinnock's daughter, from Stony Ford. She's 
courting our Willy." 

"And a fine lass, too." 

*'Yes, fine enough, as far as that goes. What sort of a wife'll 
she make him, think you?" 

"You just let me consider abit," said the man. He took ont a 
pocket-book and a pencil. The landlady continued to talk to the 
other guests. 

Radford was a big fellow, black-haired, with a brown moustache, 
and darkish blue eyes. His voice, naturally deep, was pitched in 
his throat, and had a peculiar, ténor quaUty, rather husky, and 
disturbing. He modulated it a good deal as he spoke, as men do 
who talk much with women. Always, there was a certain indolence 
in his carriage. 

"Our master's lazy," his wife said. "There's many a bit of a job 
wants doin', but get him to do it if you can." 

But she knew he was merely indiffèrent to the little jobs, and 
not lazy. 

He sat writing for about ten minutes, at the end of which time, 
he read: 

"I see a fine girl full of life. 
I see her just ready for wedlock, 

But there's a jealousy between her eyebrows 

And jealousy on her mouth. 

I see trouble ahead. 

Willy is délicate. 

She would do him no good. 

She would never see when he wasn't well, 

She would ordy see what she wanted — " 

So, in phrases, he got down his thoughts. He had to fumble for 
expression, and therefore anything serions he wanted to say he 
wrote in "poetry," as he called it. 

Presently, the landlady rose, saying: 

"Well, I s'il hâve to be looking after our mester. I s'il be in 
again before we close." 

Radford sat quite comfortably on. In a while, he too bade the 
Company goodnight. 

When he got home, at a quarter past eleven, his sons were in 
bed, and his wife sat awaiting him. She was a woman of médium 

35 



D. H. LAWRENCE 

height, fat, and sleek, a dumpling. Her black hair was parted 
smooth, her narrow-opened eyes were sly and satirical, she had a 
peculiar twang in her rather sleering voice. 

"Our missis is a puss-puss," he said easily, of her. Her extraor- 
dinarily smooth, sleek face was remarkable. She was very heahhy. 

He never came in drunk. Having taken ofï his coat and his cap, 
he sat down to supper in his shirt-sleeves. Do as he might, she was 
fascinated by him. He had a strong neck, with the crisp hair grow- 
ing low. Let her be angry as she would, yet she had a passion for 
that neck of his, particularly when she saw the great vein rib under 
the skin. 

"I think, Missis," he said, "Fd rather ha'e a smite o' cheese than 
this méat." 

"Well, can't you get it yourself?" 

"Yi, surely I can," he said, and went out to the pantry. 

"I think, if yer comin' in at this time of night, you can wait on 
yourself," she justified herself. 

She moved uneasily in her chair. There were several jam-tarts 
alongside the cheese on the dish he brought. 

"Yi, Missis, them tan-tafflins'll go down very nicely," he said. 

"Oh, will they! Then you'd better help to pay for them," she 
said, amiably, but determined. 

*'Now what art after?" 

*'What am I after? Why, can't you think?" she said sarcastically. 

"Fm not for thinkin', Missis." 

"No, I know you're not. But wheer's my money? YouVe been 
paid the Union today. Wheer do I come in?" 

"Tha's got money, an' tha mun use it." 

"Thank yer. An' 'aven't you none, as well?" 

"I hadna', not till we was paid, not a ha'p'ny." 

"Then you ought to be ashamed of yourself to say so." 

" 'Appen so." 

"We'll go shares wi' th' Union money," she said. "That's nothing 
but what 's right." 

"We shonna. Tha's got plenty o' money as tha can use." 

"Oh, ail right," she said. "I will do." 

She went to bed. It made her feel sharp that she could not get at 
him. 

3<5 



TURNABOUT IS FAIR 

The next day, she was just as usual. But at eleven o'clock she 
took her purse and went up town. Trade was very slack. Men 
stood about in gangs, men were playing marbles everywhere in 
the streets. It was a sunny morning. Mrs. Radford went into the 
furnisher-and-upholsterer's shop. 

"There's a few things," she said to Mr. Allcock, *'as Vm wantin' 
for the house, and I might as well get them now, while the men's 
at home, and can shift me the furniture." 

She put her fat purse onto the counter with a cHck. The man 
should know she was not wanting "strap." She bought Hnoleum 
for the kitchen, a new wringer, a breakfast-service, a spring mat- 
tress, and varions other things, keeping a mère thirty shilHngs, 
which she tied in a corner of her handkerchief. In her purse was 
some loose silver. 

Her husband was gardening in a desultory fashion when she got 
back home. The daffodils were out. The coïts in the fîeld at the 
end of the garden were tossing their velvety brown necks. 

"Sithee hère, Missis," called Radford, from the shed which 
stood halfway down the path. Two doves in a cage were cooing. 

"What hâve you got?" asked the woman, as she approached. He 
held out to her in his big, earthy hand, a tortoise. The reptile was 
very, very slowly issuing its head again to the warmth. 

"He's wakkened up betimes," said Radford. 

"He's like th' men, wakened up for a holiday," said the wife. 
Radford scratched the little beast's scaly head. 

"We pleased to see him out," he said. 

They had just finished dinner, when a man knocked at the door. 

"From Allcock's!" he said. 

The plump woman took up the clothes-basket containing the 
crockery she had bought. 

"Whativer hast got theer?" asked her husband. 

"We've been wantin' some breakfast-cups for âges, so I went 
up town an' got 'em this mornin'," she replied. 

He watched her taking out the crockery. 

"Hm!" he said. "Tha's been on th' spend, seemly." 

Again there was a thud at the door. The man had put down a 
roU of linoléum. Mr. Radford went to look at it. 

37 



D. H. LAWRENCE 

**They corne rolling in?" he exclaimed. 

*'Who's grumbled more than you about the raggy oilcloth of 
this kitchen!" said the insidious, cat-like voice of the wife. 

"It's ail right, it's ail right," said Radford. 

The carter came up the entry with another roll, which he 
deposited with a grunt at the door. 

"An' how much do you reckon this lot is?" he asked. 

"Oh, they're ail paid for, don't worry," replied the wife. 

"Shall yer gi'e me a hand, Mester?" asked the carter. 

Radford followed him down the entry, in his easy, slouching 
way. His wife went after. His waistcoat was hanging loose over his 
shirt. She watched his easy movement of well-being as she fol- 
lowed him, and she laughed to herself. 

The carter took hold of one end of the wire mattress, dragged 
it forth. 

"Well, this is a corker!" said Radford, as he received the burden. 

"Now the mangle!" said the carter. 

"What dost reckon tha's been up to, Missis?" asked the husband. 

"I said to myself last wash-day, if I had to turn that mangle 
again, tha'd ha'e ter wash the clothes thyself." 

Radford followed the carter down the entry again. In the street, 
women were standing watching, and dozens of men were loung- 
ing round the cart. One officiously helped with the wringer. 

"Gi'e him thrippence," said Mrs. Radford. 

"Gi'e 't him thysen," replied her husband. 

"l've no change under half-a-crown." 

Radford tipped the carter, and returned indoors. He surveyed 
the array of crockery, linoléum, mattress, mangle, and other goods 
crowding the house and the yard. 

"Well, this is a winder! " he repeated. 

"We stood in need of 'em enough," she replied. 

"I hope tha's got plenty more from wheer they came from," he 
replied dangerously. 

"That's just what I haven't." She opened her purse. "Two half- 
crowns, that's every copper Fve got i' th' world." 

He stood very still as he looked. 

"It's right," she said. 

There was a certain smug sensé of satisfaction about her. A wave 
of anger came over him, blinding him. But he waited and waited. 

38 



TURNABOUT IS FAIR 

Suddenly his arm leapt up, the fist clenched, and his eyes blazed at 
her. She shrank away, pale and frightened. But he dropped his 
fîst to his side, turned, and went out, muttering. He went down to 
the shed that stood in the middle of the garden. There he picked 
up the tortoise, and stood with bent head, rubbing its horny head. 

She stood hesitating, watching him. Her heart was heavy, and 
yet there was a curions, cat-Hke look of satisfaction round her eyes. 
Then she went indoors and gazed at her new cups, admiringly. 

The next week he handed her his half-sovereign without a word. 

"You'U want some for yourself," she said, and she gave him a 
shilling. He accepted it. 



39 



Conrad Ailcen 



FLY AWAY LADYBIRD 



Conrad Aiken is of course much better known for his poetry than for 
his prose, but the fact is that in the late 1920's and early 1930's he 
published three volumes of short stories — Bringl Bringf and Other 
Stories (1925), Costumes by Eros (1928), and Among the Lost 
People (1934). His short stories "Mr. Arcularis" and "Silent Snow, 
Secret Snow" and perhaps one or two others are well-known, but it 
was not until Duell, Sloan & Pearce published the coUected Short 
Stories of Conrad Aiken in 1950 that his stature as a writer of short 
fiction was recognized. 

Mr. Aiken, now sixty-nine, lives in Brewster, Mass., and Twentieth 
Century Authors points out the interesting fact that he was one of the 
members of the famous class of Harvard 191 1, his classmates in- 
cluding T. S. Eliot, Van Wyck Brooks, John Reed, HeywoodBroun^ 
Robert Benchley, Alan Seeger, Robert Edmund Jones, and Walter 
Lippman. When we asked permission to use "Fly Away Ladybird'* 
Aiken was surprised that it wasn't in his collected short stories, and 
thought he must just hâve forgotten about it. It was published in 
Esquire for October 1934, and is reprinted hère for the first time. 



DON T BE MELANCHOLY, DARLING, I M SURE IT WILL ALL COME OUT 

ail right." 

"But how often hâve I got to tell you that Fm not melancholy? 
Fm not melancholy at ail. Fm afraid you're old-fashioned. You 
just think I ought to be melancholy!" 

"It's ail thèse subterfuges, ail this concealment. The way you 
had to go to the hospital under an assumed name. And signing a 
false name to the birth certificate. And now living hère in this one- 
horse town! Good Lord." 

She smiled at him, as if affectionately amused by her despair,, 
took his arm, and they walked slowly, very slowly, up the little 

40 



FLY AWAY LADYBIRD 

hill in the park. He kept his head lowered, as if thinking, and when 
he didn't respond to a repeated tug at his elbow, she brought her 
face so close to his that her forehead touched the rim of his hat. 

"Besides," she said, "you're forgetting that the whole idea was 
mine. Wasn't it?" 

"Oh, I know, but that has nothing to do with it. There's so 
much I want to do for you and Bibs, and can't. You oughtn't to 
be Hving hère, buried away hke this, and especially as I can only 
get hère so seldom. No. And ali the time I hâve the funniest feel- 
ing-'^ 

"What?" 

"Well, it makes me laugh sometimes. But I keep feeling that you 
and Bibs ought to be hving with the rest of us." 

^'Thafs a bright idea. Your wife would be so glad, wouldn't 
she?" 

"Gosh, y es. Just the same, if you ever saw the other kids — " 

He stopped suddenly, and grinned at her. 

''That would be ail right. But suppose she saw Bibs! She'd know 
it in a flash." 

They resumed the walk, very slowly, they passed under a maple 
tree, scarlet leaves had fallen on the path from the scarlet mass 
above them, and the sweet smoke came up to them from a smudge 
fire at the bottom of the hill. The delicious melancholy held them 
still for a moment. They stood under the tree and said nothing. 

"That's for instance why it would be, I suppose, dangerous for 
you to live in New York. God knows New York's large enough, 
but if you ever did meet — " 

"It's got to be postponed." 

"And that's the sort of thing that makes me sick. This everlast- 
ing secrecy. Hole in corner." 

"I told you in the beginning that I knew ail about that and was 
prepared for it. Didn't I? And that I assumed fuU responsibility. 
It's my funeral, not y ours." 

"That's exactly what Fm afraid of, Enn — " 

"Oh, I didn't mean thatr 

"It's bound to be, at least in some respects. It isn't good for you. 
You haven't met a soûl hère. The minute you met people they'd 
begin to smell a rat. Mrs. Doane suspects already — I could see it 
this morning when I met her hère with Bibs." 

4^ 



CONRAD AIKEN 

"Well, what did she do, did she bite you, or give y ou a dirty 
look?" 

He didn't answer. He disengaged his arm, took out a cigarette 
and lit it; then flung the smoking match into a red privet bush. He 
was frowning. He thought how odd it was that Enn could take 
the whole situation so calmly. He was even tempted to believe 
that she was somehow lacking — but lacking in what, he found it 
difficult to say. Morals? But there could be no question of that — 
the moral issue had never arisen, there was no such thing. If it was 
anything, it was something like delicacy. Or was it merely that 
she was sensible — more sensible than any woman he had ever met. 

"O God, Enn, there are so many things. That awful dingy 
apartment of yours. And the neighbors watching you." 

She took his arm again, and shook him, and laughed, her long 
grey eyes narrowing provocatively. 

*'Is that ail? Is there something more?" 

"Heaps. What about Bibs?" 

"How do you mean, what about Bibs?" 

"Well, she's four. She notices things. She knows when I spend 
the night there. That would be ail right, if only — " 

"What?" 

"She knew I was her father." 

She drew a deep sigh, looked away from him, said nothing. 
Then she pulled him doser, with her hand under his arm — so 
closely and so tenderly that to walk thus together, with their knees 
touching and disengaging, arm against arm and side against side, 
became difficult, and slow, and self-conscious, a delicious and 
awkward intimacy. 

If only it could go on like this, if only it could always be like 
this. Their bodies seemed to be saying it, but their faces and minds 
were averted. He felt extraordinarily touched. It was tragic, it 
was beautiful. 

"I sometimes wonder if you really feel it, Enn." 

"Don't be a goose." 

"But really, I do." 

"You silly boy, weVe been over it so often, haven't we? You 
must reconcile yourself that Bibs is mine. Not yours, mine. You 
agreed to that. I wanted her, not you." 

"Oh, I know ail that. It's a good theory." 

42 



FLY AWAY LADYBIRD 

They had corne to the bench at the top of the hill. Below them 
the little river, with birches along the nearer margin, turned out 
of sight under the dilapidated wooden bridge. He remembered 
how they had corne hère before Bibs was born — he remembered 
the last time of ail, when she had wanted to come up to see the 
sunset, and he had tried in vain to dissuade her, and they had 
climbed up so slowly, and she had turned so white. What was it 
she had said, something very funny. A quotation from somebody. 
Oh yes — "O to be oviparous, now that spring is hère." 

*'Do you think Mrs. Doane is a good influence, Enn?" 

She had sat down on the bench, her hands flat on the green 
wood, the Angers spread out fanwise. 

"Of course. She's as good as gold. She adores Bibs." 

*1 know. But I don't like the slang." 

*'Oh don't worry about the slang. Good heavens, if that was 
ail!" 

"What do you mean?" 

"It's when I go down to New York to see you; when Fm away 
— ail those weeks. When I come back, Bibs likes Mrs. Doane better 
than she does me. She always says she wants to stay with Boo. 
You know she calls her Boo." 

He stood facing her, his head a little on one side, his cigarette 
lightly held between two fingers. 

"And do you think that's good? Do you think it's so good?" 

"Of course I don't think it's good. But what can we do? Some- 
body^s got to look after her when I go away." 

"But why not be sensible and give up your job, and let 7ne 
swing it?" 

Alternately, she slapped her hands on the bench, in a queer and 
mountingly mischievous rhythm, then clapped them together be- 
fore her, wrung them at him, and laughed. 

"The possessive maie!" 

"Possessive nonsense! It's simply a question of what's best for 
you and Bibs. This sort of thing is no good. It's sure to hurt you 
both." 

She was still smiling, but as he watched her intently, her expres- 
sion gradually became one of quizzical scrutiny. She looked up at 
him sidelong, as if making a careful appraisal. 

"Are you sure you're being quite straight about this? You love 

43 



CONRAD AIKEN 

Bibs and want her. You love me and want me. You don't want us 
to be independent. Do you?" 

He turned his back and took a few steps toward the edge of the 
grass slope. At the bottom of the hill he could see a man emptying 
a basket of dead leaves on the smudge fire: the bright fiâmes shot 
up for a moment into the basket as if hcking away the last few 
morsels of the year. What Enn said was, of course, perfectly true. 
Or partly true. But that didn't really change it — not at ail. He 
watched the man walk slowly along the path and drop the basket 
into a wheelbarrow. Yes, partly true — he did want to hâve them, 
to keep them. And why not? It seemed ridiculous that he shouldn't. 
They were — they ought to be — a part of his life. 

Enn's voice floated toward him lightly — it gave him oddly, 
before he turned, the feeling that she was watching him very 
closely, very affectionately. 

"Don't be melancholy, darling! It will ail come out ail right!" 

She was laughing at him, laughing at her use of his own words. 

"Curse you, Enn — you never can be serious for Rvt minutes on 
end." He said this as he walked back to the bench: he sat down 
beside her and dropped his hat on the grass. "What's going to hap- 
pen to her when she goes to school — when she finds that other 
children hâve fathers, when they ask her who her father was? I 
suppose you'U hâve to tell her some damned fairy story about it. 
And then what about me? As she gets older, and sees me around — 
what's she going to think? She's no fool — believe me, she'll put two 
and two together and make it sex! And a hell of a lot of good that 
will do her. She'll end by hating me." 

"Darling!" 

He suddenly felt sorry for himself, he felt hurt and angry and 
stubborn, he wanted to be urged or comforted, and this feeling 
was only accentuated when she dropped her hand on his knee and 
lightly pinched him. 

"No, Enn, it's no use." 

"But darling! you forget there is such a thing as time. Lots can 
happen, lots will happen. AU this is only a phase. When the time 
comes. Fil go to New York and get a job there. FU adopt Bibs — 
she'll take my name, and it will be easy enough later to explain to 
her that I took her from an orphanage, or that nobody knew who 
her parents were. You'U see, it will be quite simple." 

44 



FLY AWAY LADYBIRD 

She said this unhurriedly, almost as if with no attempt to per- 
suade — the eiïect upon him was to make him feel that she was, as 
always, overwhelmingly reasonable. 

"Well, what about me — when she's older, she's sure to suspect. 
What about that?" 

"I know, my dear. But there are other things to consider. It 
might be that you wouldn't any longer — be coming to see me. We 
might décide — for Bibs' sake — that it would be better if we sep- 
arated. You might décide to give us up. Or fall in love with 
someone else. Or even, just décide to be a devoted father to your 
ouon children. After ail, you hâve got them, and you do love 
them. It isn't as if you had nothing else. Or as if you need to be- 
grudge me Bibs. Is it?" 

"O good Lord." 

"We might as well be practical about it." 

"Practical!" 

He took out his leather cigarette case, tapped a fresh cigarette 
repeatedly on the back of it, and lit it from the stub. Then with 
his forefinger he touched her hand, which still lay on his knee. 
She was smiling at him, but her eyes were grave, and he gave her 
a quick smile in answer. 

*'You ought to hâve been a lawyer, Enn. You're the most de vil- 
ishly and unmitigatedly reasonable being I ever met. If I didn't 
know better, Fd say you had no heart." 

*'But you do know better, don't you . . . Fm sorry youVe got 
to go back tonight." 

"So am I." 

They were both silent; a curions mutual awareness of peace 
came upon them, they watched the smoke from the smudge fire, 
which the breeze was idly sculpturing into a long blue curve over 
the river, over the tops of the birches. A policeman had stopped 
to talk to the man with the wheelbarrow. The sun was beginning 
to be low — he took out his watch. Four o'clock. 

"Four o'clock. What time did you say — " 

"I told her to bring Bibs hère at half-past three. She must be 
late." 

"She îs late." 

"Well, she probably won't be very late, because she has to go 
somewhere, she said, at half-past four. She was just to bring Bibs 

45 



CONRAD AIKEN 

and go. Perhaps if we walk back — or would you rather stay hère?" 

"Let's walk." 

They walked in silence, with linked arms, and as they turned 
the shoulder of the little hill, and saw the park below them, and 
Bibs running up the narrow path toward them, he began to feel 
for the first time the full force of what Enn had just been saying 
— (as usual) — with such extraordinary calm. Séparation! Yes. It 
had been hanging over them for a long time, he had always known 
that sooner or later the shadow would begin to become sub- 
stance; it was inévitable — or was it? — and now at last it had been 
spoken of. Very likely she had foreseen it from the outset — it was 
like her to foresee things, to plan things — she had known that 
sooner or later they must separate, and she had quite calmly de- 
cided to hâve Bibs, if only as an insurance against a bankruptcy 
which might otherwise hâve been complète. Yes. That was it. And 
now, as a conséquence of the foresight itself, and as a conséquence 
of Bibs, the séparation, which she had merely foreseen as a pos- 
sibility, was gradually becoming a necessity: Bibs, whom she had 
decided to hâve as a protection, must now be protected: cause 
had led to efïect, and now effect was leading to cause. It was this 
— and he knew somehow that the same thoughts were in her 
mind, the same feelings — it was this that made her now tighten 
her hold on his arm, now as Bibs came running toward them, with 
her blue leggings and blue béret and a wilted stalk of blue chicory 
in her hand, tightly held. This — she was saying — is what you are 
losing, a part of yourself which you must lose. And Bibs, who 
seems to be running straight toward you, chattering and laughing 
to herself, making up one of her absurd and delicious stories, will 
not stop hère, or greet you, but will pass by and go on, you will 
never see her again. 

"And did you see the Christmas trees, ail the Christmas trees, 
Mummy? They said how-do. I said how-do to them and they said 
how-do to me." 

"But you haven't said how-do to Boyar." 

"Will you give Boyar a big kiss?" 

"No. Did you see the how-do trees, Boyar?" 

"Yes, I saw the how-do trees." 

When Mrs. Doane had gone, they counted the Christmas trees, 

46 



FLY AWAY LADYBIRD 

and said how-do to them, and he took ofï his hat and shook one 
of them by the hand. 

"And Boo says their fathers were little teeny tiny tiny tiny 
seeds, no bigger than — no bigger than a — " 

"What?" 

*'No bigger than a pW7îpkin! An old grey pumpkin man with 
grey teeth and grey ears!" 

"Did Boo say that?" 

"Yes, Boo said that." 

"And who was your father, Bibs? Was he a pumpkin man too?" 

"Tell Boyar, blueberry." 

The "secret" expression came over her face: she stood still, she 
held the chicory flower before her, and gazed at it, smiling at her 
delicious and secret idea. 

"No, he wasn't a pumpkin man. He was a — he was a — he was 
a—" 

She began to squeal with delight, she was planning a joke, a 
surprise. And at once she announced triumphantly, 

"He was a June-bug!" 

"A June-bug! Are you sure? Why Bibsî" 

"Yes, he was a June-bug. And he flew and he flew and he flew 
and he flew and he flew!" 



47 



Ezra Pounà 



REFLEXSHUNS ON IGGURUNCE 



"Reflexshuns on Iggurunce" was written within a few months of its 
publication in Esquive in January, 1935. It was one of a séries of eight 
pièces Pound did for the magazine. 

When he wrote this pièce, Pound was living in Rapallo, on the 
Italian Riviera, to which he had moved from France in 1924. During 
the early years of the Dépression he had become increasingly con- 
cerned with the evils of finance-capitalism and usury. In "Reflex- 
shuns on Iggurunce" Pound alludes rather murkily to thèse économie 
cure-ails. His préoccupation with usury ("Usury," he said, "and 
Sodomy the Church condemned as a pair, to one hell, the same for 
one reason — they are both against natural increases.") appears in 
many of his Cantos of this time: 

With usura, sin against nature, 
is thy bread ever more state rags 
is thy bread dry as paper, 

with no mountain wheat, no strong flour . . , 

Canto XLV 

Finally Pound began to speak of himself as an economist rather 
than a poet. Then the Fascists in Italy convinced him that the Social 
Crédit System in which he believed was not unlike their own ideas 
of the Corporate State, and Pound was led to support the Mussolini 
régime. He was arrested by American authorities on charges of 
treason in 1945. 

Later in this book Richard Rovere considers the political and his- 
torical problems in "The Question of Ezra Pound"; and "Reflexshuns 
on Iggurunce" should be read against the background of some such 
discussion. It is an example of the side of Pound that most interested 
Pound himself and most distressed his friends and countrymen. 



THE REVEREND GINGRICH SEZ, SEZ HE, THAT HE CAn't EXPLAIN 

why my last pièce is incompréhensible because he understands it 
perfectly well. 

48 



REFLEXSHUNS ON IGGURUNCE 

The mind of that section of the présent readers which isn't the 
10,000 one hundred per cent highest possible type of reader who 
understands everything is still a dark forest to the présent writer, 
and E. E. Cummings tells me that when he was selling washing 
machines he found the same difficulty in attaining complète com- 
prehensibility. 

Anybody who can understand a washing machine can under- 
stand économies by the same process; I mean so long as they keep 
their eyes and minds on économies or the washing machine it 
OUGHT to be easy, but nobody likes to do that. 

I wish Mr. Hofî wd. help me. He has the pluperfect grasp on the 
type of mind to which the great american public has for 40 years 
entrusted its diplomacy and économies. 

Take diplomacy. If oie pop gets drunk and signs a mortgage in 
that condition, you think he hadn't orter hâve done it, but if Mr. 
Woodrow Wilson was **so muzzy he couldn't find his notes," 
when he was deciding the frontiers of Europe and the welfare of 
a few miUion people, that's diplomacy. 

In the old days Johnnie had to learn, sometimes, his geography. 
But grown folks don't, I mean they don't if they're diplo- 

MATS. 

Some of the boys at Versailles saw 7 m, just like that j m on the 
map. They'd heard about miles, but had never perhaps heard about 
the metric décimal System. They thought the island was seven 
miles from the shore, so there is a nice tidy little town, a nice tidy 
little eyetalyan town on the other side of the Adriatic, looking like 
a chunk chewed ofî of Venice, where they speak the venetian 
dialect, and a nice bit of Jugoslav fort seven mètres across the 
water, a channel like a canal, boats can get through, bumping the 
sides now and then. 

Ail the town is full of great grandmama's heirlooms, just as if 
my Gaudiers and my Max Ernst seascape were hung up where 
Bugs Moran cd. toy about with gangland vendetta. Seems the 
Jugoslavs don't like any art done before the year 1500, so they 
occasionally chip ofï a lion, with Mr. Schneider and the Baron 
deWendel, and ail the blokes whom Senator Nye is lookin' into, 
trying like hell to sell guns. 

That's diplomacy. Some diplomatie appointments are myste- 
rious. I mean if a man isn't sent over to represent Mr. Morgan, or 

49 



EZRA POUND 

the Standard Oil or for some really normal reason, one sometimes 
wonders why the government sent him. The first time I wondered 
was when that flatchested dripping slabside of codfish W. Hines 
Page told me he hadn't any "instructions from Washington." 
Fordie (Ford Madox Ford, Huefïer that was) had put on a high 
hat, I mean a real silk-covered stove pipe, and we went down to 
the Embassy, because Harry Kemp hadn't paid for his ticket. He 
said he wanted some Enghsh culture and just came over to look 
at it. And somebody put him in jail. 

I told Page the boy had a praise-worthy curiosity and that so 
few young writers wanted to learn anything, that Mr. Page better 
hâve him let out. 

Mr. Page said he represented the government and not the people, 
and that he couldn't act without instructions from Washington. 
The old geek had been a publisher, so this conception of impos- 
sibility came natural. 

Ford looked at him with the sort of a look a man carrying a 
high hat would use in looking at a fish that had been dead much 
too long. When he got to the street he said something unfavorable 
to diplomacy. He said British Diplomats sometimes weren't ail 
that they might be, he said that an English Ambassador mightn't 
hâve done much, but that damn it he wd. hâve done more than that. 
So we went to see a British Cabinet Minister and the British Home 
Office let Mr. Kemp out without our having to use any more 
diplomacy. I mean they grasped the idea that Kemp ought to be 
allowed to look around a bit. 

This may not prove anything. It merely joggled my childish im- 
pressions of a jolly old bird swinging his cane along the Quais in 
Naples, or of a conversation I had heard over a partition 28 years 
ago as to how the Embassy could get Mrs. Kiwogglebat into 
Alfonso XlIIth's wedding bail without inviting her husband. 

I 'spose they did it by the old and now ill-reputed secret diplo- 
macy. Neither the Ambassor nor his leading attaché suggested 
that it couldîft be done. 

That's where the old diplomacy or statesmanship differed from 
banking and économies. 

The 10,000 readers of the highest possible type will please note 
that I am trying to live up to the estimate of a young Harvard man 

50 



REFLEXSHUNS ON IGGURUNCE 

who said I was the old geezer who seemed to tell 'em what living in 
Yourup is like. 

There was a message came into the office, were they in a posi- 
tion to notice it, because it was very curions that ont of the 
Embassy window he could see three moons quite distinctly. That 
was a very popular Ambassador, and I never heard he signed any 
treaties after midnight or by the light of three moons. This is not 
an "indignation article"; I don't want to spoil any diplomat's fun. 
But the old world point of view is that an ambassador pulls more 
weight if he segregates business and booziness. 

I am trying to write about iggurunce. It was suggested I write 
about Mr. Hemingway too, but Hem ain't nearly iggurunt 
enough for my purpose, not nearly as iggurunt as économies 
professors and delegates representing the government. It is the 
démocratie method of getting represented that I am trying to 
fathom. A lady wrote me that my économies was wrong because 
I disagreed with her husband and "Economies was Elmer's sub- 
jeet." 

Being a "subject" in that sentence meant that Elmer had been 
to collège and his professors had told him. He went on years later 
believing what his teachers had told him. 

A professor in the London Sehool of Economies wrote me, "It 
caii but it will get into a mess." His letter is dated the i8th of 
September, 1934. So I suppose that's officiai British Economies 
almost up to date. 

That is obscure. Hell, I admit it is obscure as it stands and I am 
willing to go back and explain why the prof said it. 

I am an inquisitive cuss. I wanted to know, and I still want to 
know what a lot of self styled and professional and very verbose 
blokes think about économies and money (économies is something 
to do with money) . I wanted to know what a lot of blokes thought 
about MONEY. What is money? 

I printed a list of questions. I asked a wop, and he printed some 
of my questions in Turin; the Morning Post took ofï its high hat 
and printed half a column in London. A bloke in Lausanne wrote 
down to Gino and some bloke had printed the lot in a Spanish 
paper, in Madrid where Hem goes to buU fights. (El Sol. de 
Madrid. 26th August.) 

51 



EZRA POUND 

I said: a country can hâve one currency for internai use and 
another good both for internai — no, hold on, I didn't make that 
mistake. I was careful of my langwidg: I didn't say "internai and 
external" use, like a cough lotion that's good for burns. I said 
"and another good both for home and foreign use." Fd hâve done 
better to say "one good inside the country" the other "good both 
inside the country and outside it." 

Anyhow the idea was clear. The prof started by sending me three 
funny postcards, one with a squeaker inside like a dolFs. 

Then he wrote me a fourteen page letter (seven sheets, long 
hand written on both sides, in neat highbrow professional hand 
writin' and containing that gem of wisdom: "It can, but it will 
get into a mess.") 

He'd had his chance? When he wrote me the postcards, I wrote 
him patient and perlite to look at the goddamn' money he was 
using during his vacation (he was on vacation in France). I don't 
know if he did it. 

France has had two kinds of money for 1 5 years and they never 
confused the most dumb and damnblasted frogeater, and of ail the 
complainers I heard in Jimmy Charters' bar I never heard any of 
'em complain about the coin being issued by the United French 
Chambers of Commerce. So I still don't see why it's a mess. 

Economies was that fellow's "subject" but he was not his 
nation's choice to represent 'em at the International Economie 
Congress. He never was, so far as I know, a delegate sent off to 
décide the fate of his country and her relations with other great 
powers. He was just another of thèse blokes, like Tugwell, and 
Moley, and Sec. Wallace. I mean économies was ... an' so 
on . . . his subject. 

So a DELEGATE asks me if I can ask him "any real questions" 
and I sent him the same little sHp (costs nearly ten cents a letter, 
with Mr. Morgenthau's new cutie dollar) . 

He answers me (thank god, using a typewriter) : 

"3. Yes, it can. And so can a man use a regular thermometer for 
taking his température, and one of his own devising for taking the 
température of a room. If he does, he créâtes additional complica- 
tions." 

That's the way a speciman delegate thinks. First he gets a fancy 
analogy. Second he fails to know what has been going on in the 

52 



REFLEXSHUNS ON IGGURUNCE 

world outside his own office, and thirdly he commits what the 
logic teachers call a nonsequitur, or a statement of what don't 
necessarily follow. 

That's why the New Deal takes so long. The last few words are 
a quotation. A lovely lady once said to me long ago in a very tired 
voice: "I hâve just been lunching with six gênerais. Now I know 
why the Boer War took so long/' 



53 



E. E. C 



ummiws 



EXIT THE BOOB 



E. E. Cummings, poet, painter, novelist, playwright, essayist, and re- 
viewer, stated his credo early in the game: 

I would 

suggest that certain ideas gestures 

rhymes, like Gillette Razor Blades 

having been used and reused 

to the mystical moment of dullness emphatically are 

Not To Be Resharpened 

Throughout his career in the world of letters Cummings has gone 
his own way. Enlisting in an American ambulance corps in the First 
World War, he was by mistake arrested and placed for several 
months in a French prison. Out of this expérience came his fîrst 
book, The Enor?nous Room. In 193 1 he made a trip to Russia and 
subsequently published Emit, a journal of his expériences and im- 
pressions, most of which were frankly hostile. ("Fd just as soon be 
imprisoned in freedom as free in a jail.") He was labeled a Fascist 
by many of the literati of the time. 

Cummings' poetry, too, is a reflection of his intransigence. Ad- 
hering to no strict typographical rules, ignoring punctuation and 
spelling rules, he has continued to publish his poems in the literary 
magazines for close to forty years. 

In the fall of 1952, Cummings began the first of six lectures (which 
he, remaining in character, called six nonlectures) at Harvard as the 
Charles Eliot Norton Poet in résidence. In them are contained many 
of the attitudes and ideas expressed eighteen years earlier in the June 
1935 issue of Esquive: his hostility toward conformity, his thoughts 
on advertising clichés, and his passionate attack on the vast conspiracy 
in America to convince people to "belong." 



MORE THAN A GREAT MANY SIMPLE FOLKS, FOR SOME NONE TOO 

obscure reason, know that they know what's good for you and 
me. Royally basking in his painfully acquired ignorance of what- 

54 



EXIT THE BOOB 

ever makes life livable, this "share the wealth" prophet butters 
platitudes for an invisible and immeasurable audience endowed 
with a simplicity so perfectly prehistoric as to be positively mythi- 
cal. Quote every man a king unquote. Meanwhile a visible number 
of merely simplest folks surround that anonymous hâter of human 
values who, busily raving under the peaceful stars, tells mankind 
just why it must corne unto Doctor Marx to be goosed with a 
"class struggle." Pants-pressers of the world, unité! you hâve 
nothing to lose but your pants. Etcetera, ad infinitum: yet (oddly 
enough) humanity survives. Individualism flourishes. Millions upon 
millions of men and women hâve toothaches. Thousands upon 
thousands of authentic sadists hope that (as one of them tactlessly 
assured myself) "some day Fil be in the mouths of the best peo- 
ple." 

What ample zest! What copions verve! What abundant en- 
thusiasm! What boundless bonhommerie! It's actually hard to 
imagine that there really was a time when everything wasn't 
known to be known and everybody didn't know that they knew 
it. But science says that a time there was; and science is an honora- 
ble man. A time there was when even the most omnipotent 
emperor didn't know that he knew and he never could know that 
he had B. O. — and can't you imagine his ill-starred consort, mount- 
ing her dazzling throne with a hideous case of Morning Mouth? 
Sure an' 'tis a merciful miracle our mysterious mothers and fabu- 
lons fathers got themselves born at ail at ail. Hail, bail, the civiHza- 
tion's ail hère . . . although one rather suspects that something 
must be not far from wrong when every punk can't automatically 
become Albert Lincoln or Abraham Einstein, merely by letting a 
button press itself or (if there must be such a thing as imperfec- 
tion) by throwing a switch: am I right? Wouldn't a ducky inven- 
tion like that simplify the whole horrid complicated unemploy- 
ment problem rather nicely? Answer me, you twenty-five hundred 
dollar a week apotheosis of cinematographic idiocy. Or (if you 
prefer) just try to lift those already lifted eyebrows. Hoot, lass, 
'tis not a Nude Eel in my sporran either way. 

Note that the stalwart champion of Civilization, the dulcet 
handmaid of Progress, the omnipotent Génie of the uncorked 
Unknown — science — has succeeded in shrinking our so-called 
world until it doesn't fit anybody. But there's something stranger 

55 



E. E. CUMMINGS 

still: the fact that any number of simple folks, no matter how 
mutually antagonistic they may seem to y ou and me, can (and do) 
inhabit one and the same microscopic blunder — the blunder of 
"thinking" that "people" can be "improved." Believe it or not, 
each of thèse cranks knows that each of them knows that he, she 
or it has the absolutely only authentic dope on how to better its, 
her or his so-called neighbor. Well and bad: but as long as that 
neighbor equals X, Y probably doesn't mind; and as long as it 
doesn't equal X, X possibly doesn't mind. Nobody really minds 
perhaps, until that neighbor becomes XY — 

Did you ever share an otherwise palatial dungheap with much 
too many other vividly stinking human beings? Did you ever (at- 
tired in ail the majesty of a wilted monkey, with sixty-odd 
pounds of erroneously distributed junk banging your coccyx) go 
foolishly limping and funnily hobbling up and down a river of 
feebly melting tar entitled "company street"? Did you, acciden- 
tally, ever exchange your hard-earned right to visit freedom for the 
doubtful privilège of policing latrines; just because you'd failed — 
as a warrior can't and mayn't — to grunt loudly at the exact mo- 
ment when those real hands of yours stuck that real bayonet of 
Uncle Sam's into an imaginary fellowman? Ah, the ecstasy of it 
ail! And the rapturous ritual of standing in line (hère, by the by, 
we can use what writers who know that they know call "a blaz- 
ing Sun") waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting to partially 
submerge one slipperiest plate in one stickiest kettle of lukewarm 
once upon a time water, through which meander lazily something 
like two hundred remains of something which somebody said was 
supposed to hâve once upon a time been tapioca pudding . . . 

Well, anyhow — the so-called fascist styles for a not too distant 
future look simply fascinating. Ofï with your earmuffs, ladies fair, 
and hear what your well-dressed man will wear. And you, upstand- 
ing nonpareil of American masculinity, lend me your auditory ap- 
pendages. You will wear (sic) mud and you will wear gas and at 
least three kinds of lice and you will wear terror and agony and 
hatred and disgust and shrapnel and (without knowing it) a funny 
little foolish little feeble little fairylike grinless grin. Yes indeedy. 
Big though you be, big boy, you'll carry that tiny faggoty feeble 
foolish funny thingless thing wherever you go — ail the while never 
so much as suspecting you've quietly turned into somebody else. 

56 



EXIT THE BOOB 

"Who in hell is this s. o. b. to tell me what Fil do?" an outraged 
sample of the more widely circulated brand of intellectual snob 
cordially inquires. 

Now let said outraged sample keep his shirt on; if he thinks 
we despise fighting, he's agreeably mistaken. We don't. But neither 
do we ignore the obvious and incredible fact that, if individuals 
are organisms, multitudes are mechanisms. Courage we consider 
whatever is most important on earth; and multitudes do not hâve 
courage. A "soldier" who prefers going over the top to being shot 
in the back by his superior officer is not a man. A man is an en- 
tirety, not a fraction of something. A man has courage. 

As for who ourselves are: we honestly feel that they couldn't be 
trusted to furnish the outraged sample with a correct answer — not 
that he wants a correct answer; far from it. What he wants is a 
simpler answer, which happens to be completely différent. The 
business of a correct answer is to ask a question. The business of 
a simple answer is the business of a machine gun buUet: to know 
that it knows. 

I do not know that I know — I merely feel deeply — that your 
correspondent is no mechanism. He is not a "nasty" and he is not 
a "red" and he is not a "jingo" and he is not a "pacifist" and he is 
not a "solar engine" and he is not any other form of simple answer. 
He is alive. What is more, he enjoys nothing so much as being 
alive. What is most, he would not (so far as an ignorant bloke like 
him can guess) willingly exchange the worst spontaneous com- 
plexity of life for the best premeditated simplicity of something 
else. Artists are odd, that way. In the immortal words of no less 
modest a spécimen of complexity than the Polish artist Marcoussis 
"we are living in an Apocalypse. It is necessary to be very intelli- 
gent." Certainly not quite oddly enough, a very great many proph- 
ets, cranks, busybodies, snobs, opportunists, simple folks (and 
other nonartists) do not know that they do not know precisely 
what the word Apocalypse means. 

By God, a good dictionary ought to get up on its hind legs and 
tell them, sometime. 

Just a moment (interrupts somebody whom, for the sake of 
brevity, we'll call Z). I heartily disapprove of cranks (Z comfort- 
ingly continues) but there's something of which I disapprove even 
more heartily; and that's a supercrank. What do I mean by a super- 

57 



E. E. CUMMINGS 

crank? I mean the world's only extant Total Loss: The Art For 
Art's Sake guy. At least cranks care enough about their fellow men 
to try to influence them. Not so your Artist With A Capital A. 
O no: He lives in an Ivory Tower; and He sings hymns to Abstract 
Beauty; and He doesn't give a hoot in Hell if the whole human 
race goes to the dogs. He expects mère human beings to appreci- 
ate H^is "genius." Absolutely: and He wonders why out-and-out 
honest-to-God Flesh-and-blood men and women, who don't shirk 
their responsibilities to the community and who'd rather drop dead 
than lead the parasitic existence which He idolizes, somehow can't 
afford to waste their meager leisure pulling three or four stale ideas 
out of several tons of affected gibberish which He, forsooth, calls 
His "work"! See what Fm driving at? Huh? Get the illusion? 
Speak up! 

I think you mean "allusion," my friend; but let that pass. You 
apparently dislike snobs; so do I. And of snobs there are many 
varieties. 

Only the other day, for instance, I was talking to a variety of 
snob which might fairly be called the supersnob. Listen (I said 
to this supersnob) here's a coin, called a "nickel"; it has two sides, 
"heads" and "tails." And if I did flip it, the question would be: 
"heads" or "tails"? If, on the other hand, I felt like taking the El to 
i2 5th Street, the question would be, not "heads" or "tails," but 
is it a "nickel" or isn't it? Very well. Now for a metaphor: there 
is a coin called "dictatorship"; it has two sides, "fascism" and "com- 
munism." If you're a guy who thinks he's lucky, you get ail ex- 
cited over the question: which side up will "dictatorship" land — 
shall we hâve "communism" or "fascism"? If, however, you're a 
man who wants to get somewhere — and if "dictatorship" is your 
last coin — and if you find that "dictatorship" fails to produce the 
desired resuit, that it hasn't the value it claims to hâve, that it 
simply doesn't turn the trick, that (in short) it's a dud — then what 
do you do? You grin, baby, and you walk. That's what I said to 
the supersnob. And he answered: but it might rain. 

Fortunately, there still exist persons for whom living means 
something more complex than keeping out of the rain. Some of 
thèse backward, unscientific, possibly even idiotie, persons are 
artists; the vast majority are not. None of thèse insufficiently mech- 
anized monsters can possibly be called snobs or supersnobs or Ivory 

58 



EXIT THE BOOB 

Tower lads. Maybe thèse pitifully outmoded reactionaries, who 
haven't forgotten what feet are for, constitute "forgotten men"; 
I wouldn't know that I knew. One of them, in Biblical parlance, 
is my neighbor. He résides near me, in a town called Silver Lake, 
in the state of New Hampshire; and his incomparable name is ac- 
tiially Mike Frost. 

Now, ladies and gents, having handed the so-called institution 
of modem warfare some dirty cracks, I shall (with your permis- 
sion) allow Mike Frost to lay a sweet bouquet upon the so-called 
aitar of freedom. Listen — 

Mike Frost is no slouch. By which I mean that, if he fought 
the récent war (alias the great war, alias the war to end wars) on 
his so-called native heath, it was Uncle Sam's fault for not getting 
Mike Frost any further away from Silver Lake, New Hampshire, 
than Portsmouth, New Hampshire — which was nevertheless a Big 
Change. Mike Frost, alias my neighbor, was grateful to Uncle Sam 
for the Big Change. What is more, Mike Frost enjoyed every inch 
of the War With A Capital A. What is most, that well nigh fatal 
crusade to end ail attempts to make this so-called world safe for 
anything whatever — by furnishing my neighbor, Mike Frost, with 
such otherwise unattainable complexities as Travel and Irresponsi- 
bility — equals unto this very hour the biggest, if not the only, so- 
called thing in the so-called life of a so-called human being. 

Verbum sap. 



59 



Thomas Wolfc 



ARNOLD PENTLAND 



When Thomas Wolfe died in September 1938, he had published two 
major novels, Look Homeivard, Angel and Of Time and the River. 
Ont of the chest-high pile of manuscript left, his final editor, 
Edward C. Aswell, carved two more big novels, The Web and the 
Rock and You CanH Go Home Again. Wolfe's short story, "The 
Hollow Men" (Esquire, October 1940), was part of that material; it 
is the major part of Chapter 29 of You CanH Go Home Again. 

In 1943 Aswell published The Hills Beyond, a final posthumous 
collection of Wolfe's stories and sketches. "Arnold Pentland" was 
included, under the title "A Kinsman of His Blood." Aswell said it 
was "written in 1934 or 1935. It fits, obviously, into Of Time and the 
River. It was either eut from that manuscript or is an example of 
something Tom had to go back and write when he realized too late 
that he had left it out of the book in which it belonged." Esquire 
had published the story in June 1935, introducing Arnold Pentland as 
a hitherto unknown member of Eugène Gant's family, Wolfe's own 
f amily, whose story he had told in his first two novels. 

Much later, Aswell released for publication Wolfe's early, fuU- 
length play, Welcome to Our City, which appeared in Esquire in 
October 1957. 



FROM TIME TO TIME, DURING HIS SUNDAY VISITS TO HIS UNCLE 

Bascom's house, Eugène would meet his cousin, Arnold Pentland. 
Arnold was the only one of Bascom's children who ever visited 
his father's house: the rest were studiously absent, saw their father 
only at Christmas or Thanksgiving, and then like soldiers who will 
make a kind of truce upon the morning of the Lord's nativity. And 
certainly the only reason that poor tormented Arnold ever came to 
Bascom's house was not for any love he bore him — for their re- 
lation to each other was savage and hostile as it had been since 
Arnold's childhood — but rather, he came through loneliness and 

60 



ARNOLD PENTLAND 

terror, as a child cornes home, to see his mother, to try to find 
some comfort with her if he could. 

Even in the frequency of thèse visits, the dissonant quality of his 
life was évident. After months of absence he would appear sud- 
denly, morosely, without a word of explanation, and then he would 
corne back every Sunday for several weeks. Then he would disap- 
pear again, as suddenly as he came: for several months, sometimes 
for a year or more, none of them would see him. The dense and 
ancient web of Boston would repossess him — he would be engulfed 
in oblivion as completely as if the earth had swallowed him. Then 
after months of silence, he would again be heard from: his family 
would begin to receive postal cards from him, of which the mean- 
ing was often so confused that nothing was plain save that the 
furious resentment that sweltered in him against them was again 
at work. Thus, in the same day, Bascom, his daughters, and his other 
son might ail receive cards bearing a few splintered words that read 
somewhat as follows: 

"Hav€ changed my name to Arthur Penn. Do not try to find me^ 
ît is useless! You hâve made an outcast out of me — now I only 
want to forget that I ever knew you, hâve the same blood in my 
veins. You hâve brought this on yourselves — / hope I shall never 
see your faces again! Arthur Penn." 

After this explosion they would hear nothing from him for 
months. Then one day he would reappear without a word of ex- 
planation, and for several weeks would put in a morose appearance 
every Sunday. 

Eugène had met him first one Sunday afternoon in February at 
his uncle's house; Arnold was sprawled out on a sofa as he entered, 
and his mother approaching him., spoke to him in the tender, almost 
pleading tone of a woman who is conscious of some past négligence 
in her treatment of her child and who is now, pitiably too late, try- 
ing to remedy it. 

'^Arnold," she said coaxingly, "Arnold — will you get up now, 
please, dear — this is your cousin — won't you say hello to him?" 

The great fat obscenity of belly on the sofa stirred, the man got 
up abruptly and blurting out something desperate and incohérent, 
thrust out a soft, grimy hand and turned away. Arnold Pentland 
was a man of thirty-six. He could hâve been rather small of limb 

6i 



THOMAS WOLFE 

and figure had it not been for his great soft shapeless fatness — a 
fatness pale and grimy that suggested animal surfeits of unwhole- 
some food. He had lank, greasy hair of black, carelessly parted in 
the middle, his face, like ail the rest of him, was pale and soft, the 
features blurred by fatness and further disfigured by a greasy 
smudge of beard. And from this fat, pale face his eyes, brown and 
weak, looked ont on the world with a hysterical shyness of retreat, 
his mouth trembled uncertainly with a movement that seemed al- 
ways on the verge of laughter or hysteria, and his voice gagged, 
worked, stuttered incoherently, or wrenched ont desperate shock- 
ing phrases with an effort that was almost as painful as the speech 
of a paralytic. 

His clothing was indescribably dirty. He wore a suit of old blue 
serge, completely shapeless, and shiny with the use of years, and 
spotted with the droppings of a thousand meals. Half the buttons 
were burst ofï the vest, and between vest and trousers there was a six 
inch hiatus of dirty shirt and mountainous fat belly. His shoes were 
so worn that his naked toes showed through, and his socks were 
barely more than rags, exposing his dirty heels every time he took 
a step. The whole créature was as grievously broken, dissonant, and 
exploded as it is possible for a human life to be, and ail the time his 
soft brown eyes looked out with the startled, pleading look of a 
stricken animal. 

It was impossible to remain with him without a painful f eeling of 
embarrassment — a désire to turn away from this pitiable exposure 
of disintegration. Everyone felt this but his father; as for Bascom, 
he just dismissed the conduct of his son impatiently, snorting 
down his nose derisively, or turning away as one would turn away 
from the gibberings of an idiot. 

Dinner that day — the Sunday of Eugene's first meeting with his 
cousin — was an agonizing expérience for everyone save Bascom. 
Arnold's conduct of his food was a bestial performance; he fell 
upon it ravenously, tearing at it, drawing it in with a slobbering 
suction, panting, grunting over it like an animal until layers of 
perspiration stood out on his pale wide forehead. Meanwhile, his 
mother was making a pitiable effort to distract attention from this 
painful performance; with a mask of attempted gaiety she tried 
to talk to her nephew about a dozen things — the news of the day, 
the latest researches in "psychology,'' the base conduct of the 

62 



ARNOLD PENTLAND 

Senate "unreconcilables," or the researches of Professer Einstein, 
the wonder-working miracle of the human mind. At which Arnold, 
looking up and glaring defiantly at both of them, would suddenly 
explode into a jargon of startling noises that was even more shock- 
ing than his bestial ruminations over food: 

"M-m-m-man at Harvard . . . fourteen languages ... A guh- 
guh-guh-guh — " he paused and glared at his mother with a look 
of desperate défiance while she smiled pitiable encouragement at 
him — "A gorilla," he marched it out at last triumphantly. "Can't 
speak one!" and he paused again, his mouth trembling, his throat 
working convulsively, and then burst out again — "put gorilla cage 
with man ... ail over! . . . done for! . . . half a minute!" He 
snapped his fingers. "Gorilla make mince méat of him . . . Homer 
. . . Dante . . . Milton . . . Newton . . . Laws of Gravity. . . . 
Muh-muh-muh-muh — " again he gagged, craned his fat neck des- 
perately along the edges of his dirty collar and burst out — "Mind 
of man! . . . Yet when dead — nothing! . . . No good! . . . 
Seven ten-penny nails worth more!" He paused, glaring, his throat 
working desperately again, and at length barked forth with tri- 
umphant concision: "Brisbane!" and was still. 

"Ah-h!" Bascom muttered at this point, and his features con- 
torted in an expression of disgust, he pushed his chair back, and 
turned half away — "What is he talk-ing about, anyway! . . . Go- 
rillas — Harvard — Fourteen languages." Hère he laughed sneeringly 
down his nose. "Phuh! Phuh! Phuh! Phuh! Phuh! . . . Homer— 
Dante — Newton — seven ten-penny nails — Brisbane! . . . Phuh! 
Phuh! Phuh! Phuh! Phuh! . . . Did anyone ever hear such stufF 
since time began!" And contorting his powerful features he laughed 
sneeringly down his nose again. 

"Yes!" cried Arnold angrily, throwing down his napkin and 
glaring at his father with wild resentful eyes, shot suddenly with 
tears — "And you, too! . . . No match for guh-guh-guh-guh-g(9- 
rillaP^ he yelled. "Think you are! ... Egotist! . . . Muh-muh- 
muh — " he paused, gagging, worked his neck along his greasy 
collar and burst out — "Megalomaniac! . . . Always were! . . . 
But no match gorilla . . . get you!" 

"Ah-h!" Bascom muttered, confîding his éloquent features into 
vacancy with an expression of powerful disgust — "You don't know 
what you're talk-ing about! . . . He has no conception — oh, not 

63 



THOMAS WOLFE 

the slightest! — not the faintest! — none whatever!" he howled, wav- 
ing his great hand through the air with a gesture of scornful dis- 
missal — 

The next Sunday, when Eugène had gone to Bascom's house, he 
was surprised when the old man himself came to the door and 
opened it. In response to the boy's quick inquiry about his aunt, 
Bascom, puckering his face in a gesture of disgust, and jerking his 
head towards the kitchen, muttered: 

"Ah-hî She's in there talking to that — fool! . . . But corne in, 
my boy! " he howled, with an instant change to cordiaHty. "Corne 
in, corne in, corne in!" he yelled enthusiastically. "We've been 
expecting you." 

From the kitchen came the sound of voices — a woman's and a 
man's at fîrst low, urgent, blurred, then growing louder; and sud- 
denly he could hear Arnold's voice, the wrenched-out, desperate 
speech now passionately excited: 

"Got to! ... I tell you, mother, Fve got to! . . . She needs 
me . . . and Fve got to go!" 

"But, Arnold, Arnold!" his mother's voice was tenderly per- 
suasive and entreating. "Now quiet, dear, quiet! Can't you quiet 
yourself a moment while we talk about it?" 

"Nothing to talk about!" his voice wrenched the words out 
desperately. "You've seen the letters, mother. . . . You see what 
she says, don't you?" his voice rose to a hysterical scream. 

"Yes, dear, but—" 

"Then what is there to talk about?" he cried frantically. . . . 
"Don't you see she wants me? . . . Don't you see she's in some 
terrible trouble with that — that brute . . . that she's begging me 
to come and take her away from him?" 

"Oh, Arnold, Arnold!" his mother's voice was fiUed with piti- 
able entreaty, hushed with an infinité regret. "My poor boy, can't 
you see that ail she says is that if you ever go out there she would 
be glad to see you." He made some blurted out reply that was in- 
decipherable and then, speaking gently but incisively, she con- 
tinued: "Arnold: — listen to me, my dear. This woman is a married 
woman, twenty years older than yourself, with grown children of 
her own. . . . Don't you understand, my dear, that those letters 
are just the friendly letters that a woman would write to a boy she 
once taught in school? Don't you see how much thèse letters you 

64 



ARNOLD PENTLAND 

have written her hâve frightened her — how she is trying in a kind 
way to let y ou know — " 

"It's a lie! " he said in a choking tone — "a dirty lie! You're against 
me like ail the rest of them! Fil not listen to you any longer! Fil go 
and get her — Fil bring her back with me, no matter what you say — 
and to hell with you!" he yelled. "To hell with ail of you!" 

There was a sound of scrambling confusion, and then he came 
flying through the swinging door that led into the kitchen, jam- 
ming his battered hat down on his head, his eyes wild with grief 
and anger, his lips trembling and convulsed, murmuring soundless 
imprécations as he fled. And his mother foUowed him, a small 
wren-like figure of a woman, her face haggard, stamped with grief 
and pity, calling: "Arnold! Arnold!" desperately to that fat untidy 
figure that went past like a créature whipped with furies, never 
pausing to look or speak or say good-bye to anyone, as he ran 
across the room, and left the house, slamming the door behind him. 

The story, with its wretched delusion, was pitiable enough. 
Since his second year at high school, Arnold had cherished a deep 
affection for a woman who had taught him at that time. She was 
one of the few women who had ever shown a scrap of understand- 
ing for him, and her interest had been just the kindly interest that 
a warm-hearted and intelligent woman might feel for a wretched 
iittle boy. To her, as to everyone else, he had been an ugly duck- 
ling, but this had wakened her protective instinct, and actually 
made him dearer to her than the more attractive children. And 
because of this she had taught him more — done more for him — 
than any other person he had even known, and he had never for- 
gotten her. 

When Arnold had left school, this woman had married 
and moved to California with her husband. But in the twenty 
years that had elapsed since then her old friendship with the boy — 
for "boy" he still was to her — had never been broken. During ail 
that time Arnold had written her several times a year — long 
rambling letters filled with his plans, despairs, ambitions, hopes and 
failures; the incohérent record of an incohérent personality — and 
the woman had always answered him with short, brisk, friendly 
letters of her own. 

And during ail thèse years, while he remained to her the "boy" 
that she had taught, her own personality was undergoing a fantastic 

65 



THOMAS WOLFE 

transformation in his memory. Although she had been a mature 
and rather spinsterly female when he had known her, and was now 
a grey-haired woman in the upper fifties it seemed to him now that 
she had never been anything but young and beautiful and fair. 

And as that picture developed in his mind it seemed to him that 
he had always loved her — as a man would love a woman — and 
that the only possible meaning in thèse casual and friendly letters 
that she wrote to him, lay in the love she bore for him. 

Nothing could be done to stop him. For months now he had 
come to his mother with trembling haste each time that he received 
one of the letters. He would read them in a trembly voice, finding 
in the most casual phrases the déclarations of a buried love. And his 
own replies to thèse friendly notes had become steadily more ardent 
and intimate until, at last, they had become the passionate and 
hysterical professions of a man in love. The efïect of this cor- 
respondence on the woman was évident — évident to everyone but 
Arnold himself. At fîrst, her replies had been written in the same 
friendly tone that had always characterized her notes to him, but 
a growing uneasiness was apparent. It was évident that in a kindly 
way she was trying to check this rising tide of passion, divert his 
émotion into the old channel of fellowship. Then, as his letters 
increased in the urgent ardor of their profession, her own had 
grown steadily more impersonal; the last, in answer to his déclara- 
tion that he "must see her and would come at once," was decidedly 
curt. It expressed her cold regret that such a visit as he proposed 
would be impossible — that she and her family would be "away for 
the summer" — told him that the journey to California would be 
long, costly, and unpleasant, and advised him to seek his summer's 
récréation in some more agreeable and less expensive way. 

Even the chilling ténor of this letter f ailed to quench him. Instead, 
he "read between the lines," he insisted on finding in thèse curt 
phrases the silent éloquence of love, and though months had 
passed since this last letter, and he had written many ardent times 
since then, he was even convinced that her protracted silence was 
just another sign of her love — that she was being suppressed 
through fear, that she was held in bitter constraint by that tyran- 
nical "brute," her husband — a man of whom he knew nothing, but 
for whom he had conceived a murderous hatred. 

Thus, against ail the persuasions of his mother he had decided 



ARNOLD PENTLAND 

to go. And that day when he had fled out of his father's house 
with bitter imprécations on his lips, had marked the final moment 
of décision. Nothing could be done to stop him, and he went. 

He was gone perhaps a month; no one knew exactly how long 
he was away, for none of his family saw him for about a year. 
And what the resuit of that strange meeting may hâve been, they 
never heard — and yet never needed to be told. 

From that moment on he was completely lost to them; the legend 
of that last defeat, the ruin of that final and impossible hope was 
written on him, inscribed on his heart and living in his eyes in 
letters of unspeakable terror, madness, and despair. 

One night in April when Eugène had been prowling around the 
dark and grimy streets of the South Boston slums he saw a familiar 
figure in lower Washington Street. It was his cousin, Arnold Pent- 
land. A fine spring rain had been falling ail night long, and below 
the elevated structure the pavements were wet and glistening. 
Arnold was standing at a corner, looking around with a quick 
distracte d glance, clutching a tattered bundle of old newspapers 
under one arm. 

Eugène ran across the street, calling to him, "Arnold! Arnold!" 
The man did not seem to hear at first, then looked around him in a 
startled way and at last, as Eugène approached him, calling him by 
name again, he shrank together and drew back, clutching his bundle 
of old papers before him with both hands and looking at his cousin 
with the terror-stricken eyes of a child who has suddenly been at- 
tacked. 

"Arnold!" the other cried again, ''Arnold! Don't you know me? 
. . . Fm your cousin — Eugène!" And as he made another step 
towards the man, his hand outstretched in greeting, Arnold 
scrambled back with such violent terror that he almost fell and 
then, still holding the bundle of old papers before him protectively, 
stammered: 

"Duh — duh — duh — don't know you. . . . Some mistake!" 

"Oh, there's no mistake!" the boy cried impatiently. "You know 
me! . . . Fve met you a dozen times at Uncle Bascom's house. 
. . . Look hère, Arnold — " he took off his own hat so that the man 
could better see his face — "You know me now, don't you?" 

"No! — no!" Arnold gasped, moving away ail the time. "Wrong 
man. . . . Name's not Arnold!" 

67 



THOMAS WOLFE 

The other stared at him a moment in blank astonishment and 
then exploded: 

"Not Arnold! Of course, it's Arnold! Your name's Arnold Pent- 
land, and you're my first cousin. Look hère, Arnold; what the hell 
is this anyway? What are y ou trying to do?" 

"No! . . . No! . . . Mistake, I tell you. . . . Don't know you! 
Name's not Arnold. . . . Name's Arthur Penn." 

"I don't give a damn what you call yourself!" Eugène now cried 
angrily. "You're Arnold Pentland just the same, and you're not 
going to get away from me until you admit it! Look hère! What 
kind of trick is this anyway? What are you trying to pull on me?" 
— and in his excitement he took the man by his arm and shook him. 

Arnold uttered a long wailing cry of terror and wrenching free 
struggled backward crying: 

"You leave me alone now! . . . Ail of you leave me alone! . . . 
I never want to see any of you again!" 

And turning he began to run blindly and heavily away, a gro- 
tesque and pitiable figure, clutching his bundle of sodden news- 
papers, bent over toward the rain. 

Eugène watched him go with a feeling of nameless pity, loneli- 
ness, and loss — the feeling of a man who for a moment in the huge 
unnumbered wilderness of Hfe, the roaring jungle of America, sees 
a face he knows, a kinsman of his blood, and says farewell to him 
forever. For that moment's vision of that fat, stumbling figure run- 
ning blindly away from him down a dark wet street was the last 
he would ever hâve. He never saw the man again. 



68 



John Dos Passos 



THE CELEBRITY 



Esquire was originally started as a quarterly, but the first issue was 
such a success that it was immediately changed to a monthly. Along 
with Ernest Hemingway, Nicholas Murray Butler, Gilbert Seldes, 
Ring Lardner, Jr., William McFee, Erskine Caldwell, George Ade, 
and a swarm of other celebrated names, John Dos Passos contributed 
to this first issue, Autumn 1933. Under the title, "Back Home in 1919," 
he published the first Charley Anderson section from The Big 
Money, the last novel in his trilogy, U.S.A. It was the first of many 
portions of this book that would see advance publication in the 
magazine. 

Charley Anderson appears at the end of The 42nd Parallel, the first 
volume of US. A. y as a Swedish boy who drifts from job to job and 
girl to girl until the time he finally sails for France as a mechanic in 
an ambulance section. Anderson does not appear in içipy the second 
volume, but in the third novel of the trilogy, The Big Money^ he is 
the principal character. Anderson returns from France as an heroic 
air ace, who after a séries of women, business ventures and alcoholic 
quarrels, finally kills himself driving drunkenly into an express train. 

"The Celebrity" takes place soon after Charley Anderson's return 
from the war. It appeared in Esquire in August 1935, one year before 
publication of The Big Mojiey, in which it appears as an incident in 
the fourth Charley Anderson section. In the Esquire story, Charley 
Anderson is not called by name, he is "the young man from the 
sticks"; Paul and Eveline Johnson, named in the novel, are hère "the 
couple he'd met on the French Line boat"; and Al Johnson becomes 
"the man who never forgot a face." 

Between 1933 and 1936 Esquire continued to présent numerous 
sections of The Big Money — specifically, the short biographies of 
F. W. Taylor, Thorstein Veblen, and Isadora Duncan; several of the 
Margaret Dowling épisodes; and fragments which Dos Passos later 
worked into the book as parts of The Caméra Eye and Newsreel. 
A year and a half later, in October of 1937, Dos Passos began writing 
once again for Esquire: this time a séries of articles covering the 
Spanish Civil War. They, too, were later to appear in book form as 
Journey Between Wars (1938). 

69 



JOHN DOS PASSOS 
THE YOUNG MAN FROM THE STICKS GOT INTO THE GRAND CENTRAL 

Station too late in the day to start attending to the business he'd 
corne for. He stood swinging his suitcase in the middle of the 
glowing pavement near the information booth. It was a rainy day. 
The station looked huge and lonely in spite of the late afternoon 
crowd. Then he suddenly remembered the phone number of the 
couple he'd met on the French Line boat. He went over to a 
phone booth and called. She answered. He recognized her voice 
at once. She said why didn't he come down and hâve a sandwich 
with them, she had some interesting people coming for cocktails. 
He said he'd be tickled to death, hung up, v^ent and checked his 
bag, and took the subway dovv^ntown. When he got out at Astor 
Place he had to ask the newsvendor which way was west. He found 
the house and the right name over a bell. Then he suddenly felt 
very shy. 

After ail he didn't know them very well, he didn't know how 
well he'd be able to keep up with interesting people. He got up 
his nerve and gave the bell a jab. The latch on the door buzzed. 
He went up a flight of creaky stairs and there she was holding 
open a tall white door. 

*'I hope you're not dreadfully hungry," she said. "Charles Ed- 
ward Holden is coming and he's always late." 

"Not at ail . . . Why that's fine," said the young man from 
the sticks. 

He followed her into a long tall room full of people and ciga- 
rette smoke. The husband came up and pressed a pink cocktail into 
his hand. "He said maybe he'd come," said the husband. "Well 
here's how." 

"Here's how," said the young man from the sticks, blinking a 
little round the room. 

"Mr. Zbsssk . . . Meet Miss Mmmmtbx . . . l'm sure you 
know Ttm Krmmt." 

The couple he'd met on the French Line boat had vanished. 
The young man from the sticks held tight to his cocktail glass and 
moistened his lips with his tongue. He looked around at the men's 
faces and the women's faces and the cocktail glasses and women's 
hats round about him. Everybody was talking at once. 

He approached a long-nosed lanky man who stood by himself 
with his back to the wall. 

70 



THE CELEBRITY 

"Nasty day," he said. 

"In what way?" said the lanky man without looking at him. 

"I mean the rain." 

"So it's raining is it?" The lanky man took a cigarette ont of a 
fresh package, looked for a moment as if he was going to offer one 
but thought better of it and put them back in his pocket. The young 
man from the sticks brought out a cigarette of his own. The lanky 
man had just blown out his match and stood staring at the ceiling, 
letting the blue smoke pour out of his large nostrils. The young 
man began to stammer. He stuck the cigarette unlighted in the 
corner of his mouth and managed to get the words out "MMM mis- 
ter Holder . . . what line . . . er . . . is he in?" "Holdy," said 
the lanky man turning his back and walking away. "He's shot his 
boit." 

At that minute a man grabbed the young man from the sticks 
by the buttons of his vest. "Where was it we met? . . . you tell 
me ... I bet you don't remember." 

The young man from the sticks shook his head. Then he smiled 
and held out his hand. "Maybe it was over on the other side," he 
said. 

"No it was somewhere uptown ... I ne ver forget a face." The 
man who never forgot a face had a very pink face with circular 
lines on it. He was pretty well tanked. It looked as if some of the 
pink from the cocktails had gotten into his face. 

"Very interesting people hère . . ." the young man began 
timidly. 

"Why kid ourselves?" the man who never forgot a face broke 
in. He rolled his boiled codfîsh eyes. "You know and I know that 
it's not like the old days . . . Don't you, old timer?" 

The young man nodded and blushed. "But this feller who's 
coming . . . Mr. Holdy?" 

"Nothing but a clique ... a collection of logroUers . . ." The 
man who never forgot a face winked. "After ail us old newspaper 
men understand thèse things." 

"Oh I see," said the young man. 

The man who never forgot a face took him by the sleeve and 
led him through the crowd into the back room. "Scotch in hère," 
he whispered mysteriously over his shoulder. 

"Oh I see," said the young man. 

71 



JOHN DOS PASSOS 

It was quieter in the back room. It was possible to hear what 
people said. The couple he'd met on the boat were sitting quietly 
eating chicken salad with a few friends with whiskies and sodas 
beside them. "Oh hère you are," they cried out with forced bright- 
ness. 

"I was telling this young man . . . it turns out we're old 
friends . . . that it's not like the old days at 63 . . . you remem- 
ber?" 

"Or 321," said a sallow woman with a veil on her nose. 

"Or at Marian's," sighed the couple he'd met on the French 
Line boat. 

He was settled on the couch beside them, with a plate of chicken 
salad on his knees. He wasn't following the conversation so well. 
So he spent his time with the supper and the whisky and soda. 
The man who never forgot a face was arguing with a haggard 
faced man with black eyebrows as to whether Charles Edward 
Holden was a communist. One man said he was a communist, the 
other said he was a paid agent of Wall Street. Every now and then 
the woman the young man had met on the French Line boat 
leaned forward and said smiling, "But you're both too silly." The 
haggard faced man with the black eyebrows finally got to his feet 
and said Charles Edward Holden ought to be shot against a white 
wall. 

That broke up the group. The young man from the sticks found 
that he was getting sleepy what with the beat of the room and the 
scotch on top of the pink cocktail. He got to his feet. The woman 
he'd met on the French Line boat looked up at him with her hand- 
some tired long-lidded eyes. "You don't think so do you?" 

"No indeed," said the young man. He roamed around looking 
for the bathroom and instead got into the kitchenette where the 
husband was washing glasses. 

"Lemme help you wipe," he said. 

"No. Fve got a System," said the husband. 

"Say won't those birds get into trouble if they talk like that?" 
The young man jerked his thumb over his shoulder. 

"This is a free country." 

"I don't mean they're wrong . . . But Fve got my living to 
make," said the young man from the sticks. 

72 



THE CELEBRITY 

"A man's got a right to his opinions," said the husband pouring 
out the soapy water into the sink. 

"Where I corne from," said the young man from the sticks, "the 
Déclaration of Independence stirs up a hornet's nest." 

When the glasses were washed they went out through the hall 
to the front room. People had thinned out a little. The man who 
was talking about shooting them against a white wall strode up to 
them as they came in waving a crooked forefinger. "Now you're 
both office workers . . . You tell us what the white collar classes 
think about it. Are they coming round to the side of the working 
class?" 

"It takes plenty work to stay in the working class, thèse days," 
said the young man from the sticks. 

"Do you mean to tell me . . /' the haggard faced man began. 

There were three long rings on the doorbell. Everybody quieted 
down. "There he is," said somebody. 

"Sounds like his ring," said the husband. 

The couple the young man had met on the French Line boat 
went to the door. A small nattily dressed young man came in. 
"Oh we thought you were Charles Edward Holden," said a girl. 

"Well maybe I am," said the new young man. "Fve felt funny ail 
day." The remark didn't go so well. You could feel the silence 
freezing around people's mouths. 

"Well I think Fd better be getting along," said the young man 
from the sticks. He said goodby to the husband and added "And 
thank our charming hostess for me." 

In the hall he found his charming hostess and the new young 
man talking profoundly together. They didn't notice him. Down- 
stairs on the stoop he found the man who never forgot a face. "So 
it got a bit too dense for you too? . . . When the dear lady has 
more than three of her beaux présent at one time it becomes posi- 
tively stifling ... I suppose you know that Holden is the real 
number one." 

"You don't say," said the young man from the sticks, yanking 
up the collar of his overcoat because it was still drizzling. 

"Better come and hâve a bite to eat. I know a wonderful place 
. . . almost like the old days. Those stand up suppers get you in 
the long run." 

73 



JOHN DOS PASSOS 

"They sure do," said the young man from the sticks. 

They went in by a black door through a corridor that smelt of 
toilets into a stufïy barroom that had a few tables with dirty table- 
cloths in a row at the end. They sat down at a table and ordered 
two ryes. 

"I know where it was we met . . . It was years ago at Little 
Hungary." 

"But Fve never been to Hungary," said the young man from the 
sticks. 

"Sure . . . Here's how ... I never forget a face . . . Now 
I sometimes get confused on names." 

On the strength of that they had several more ryes with béer 
chasers. The man who never forgot a face kept seeing people he 
knew at the bar. They got up and went over to the bar to join 
the crowd. A stubby girl in a Bulgarian blouse who had come in 
with two ash colored young men was warmly greeted as Darling. 
He put his arm around her neck and started to introduce her ail 
around. When he came to the young man from the sticks he hesi- 
tated. "Oh you're getting old," she singsonged. "Can't remember 
names any more." 

"Sure I can, Darling, meet . . . My very dear friend . . . Meet 
Colonel . . ." The young man from the sticks had put out his 
hand and was just going to say his name when the man who never 
forgot a face came out with "Charles Edward Holden." 

The girl had a turned up nose and blue eyes with dark rings 
under them. The eyes looked up at the young man from the sticks 
while she shook his hand. "Not really . . . Oh Fve so wanted to 
meet you, Mr. Holden . . . Fve read every word you ever wrote." 

"But Fm not really . . ." he stammered. 

"Not really a colonel," said the girl with her voice fuU of honest 
understanding. 

"Just a colonel for a night," said the man who never forgot a 
face, with a wave of a hand, and ordered up a round of whiskies. 

They went on drinking. 

"Oh Mr. Holden," said the girl, who put her whiskies away with- 
out water like a trouper, "isn't it wonderful that we should meet 
like this. I thought you were much older and not nearly so good 
looking. Now Mr. Holden, I want you to tell me ail about every- 
thing." 

74 



THE CELEBRITY 

"Better call me Charley." 

"My name's Bobbie . . . you'll call me Bobbie won't you?" 

She drew him away down towards the empty end of the bar a 
little. "I was having a rotten time . . . They are dear boys but 
they won't talk about anything except how Phyllis drank iodine 
because Edward doesn't love her any more ... I hâte personali- 
ties don't you? I like to talk about problems and things that count, 
don't you? I like the kind of people who do things. I mean world 
conditions, Marxism, books and things like that, don't you? Did 
you ever read the first chapter of Capital out loud?" 

"Well maybe," began the young man from the sticks. 

The girl was plucking at his sleeve. 

"Suppose we go somewhere quiet and talk. I can't hear myself 
think in hère." 

"Do you know some place we can dance?" he asked. The girl 
nodded. 

On the Street she took his arm. The wind had gone into the 
north, cold and gusty. They walked east and down a street full of 
tenements and crowded little Italian stores. The girl rang at a 
basement door. While they were waiting she put her hand on his 
arm. "I got some money . . . Let this be my party." 

"But I wouldn't like that." 

"Ail right. We'll make it fifty fifty ... I believe in sex equal- 
ity, don't you?" 

While they were waiting for the door to open he leaned over 
and kissed her. Her lips were there ail ready. "Oh this is a wonder- 
ful evening for me," she said snuggling up to him. "You are the 
nicest celebrity I ever met . . . Most of them are pretty stuiïy, 
don't you think so? No joy de vivre . . . When we hâve time I 
want you to explain me your theory of the eff ect of the commodity 
dollar on working class consumption." "But," he stammered, "l'm 
not . . ." 

The door opened. "Hello, Jimmy," said the girl to a slick looking 
young man in a brown suit as they brushed past him into the 
narrow passage. "Meet the boy friend . . . Mr. Grady, Mr. 
Holden." The young man's eyes flashed. "Not Charles Edward 
. . ." The girl nodded her head excitedly so that a big lock of her 
hair flopped over one eye. "Well sir, l'm surely happy to meet 
you . . . l'm a constant reader, sir." 

75 



JOHN DOS PASSOS 

The girl mussed up Jimmy's hair. "He's one of the toughest 
mugs in Manhattan, but he's very nice to his friends." 

Bowing and blushing Jimmy found them a table next to the 
dance floor in the stuiïy httle pale pink cabaret hot from the spot- 
lights and the cigarette smoke and the sweat of people dancing. 
Then she grabbed his hand and pulled him to his feet. They danced. 
The girl rubbed close to him till he could feel her little round 
breasts through the Bulgarian blouse. "My the boy can dance," 
she whispered. "Let's forget everything . . . Who we are . . . 
the day of the week." 

"Me ... I forgot two hours ago," he said giving her a squeeze. 

"You're just a plain farmer lad and Fm a bashful barefoot girl." 

"More truth than poetry to that," he said through his teeth. 

"Poetry ... I love poetry don't you ... I like to go up to 
the roof and read it in the rain . . . Fm a pagan child at heart, 
aren't you? . . . And then you'U tell me ail about your work." 

They danced until the place closed up. They were staggering 
when they got out on the black empty streets. They stumbled 
past garbage pails. Cats ran out from under their feet. They stopped 
at a corner to talk about unemployment with a cop. In every dark 
doorway they stopped and kissed. The milkman with his frame 
of empties was just coming out of the door of the house where she 
lived. Overhead the sky was getting haggard. As she was looking 
for her latchkey in her purse, she whispered thoughtfully: "People 
who really do things make the most beautiful lovers, don't you 
think so?" 

It was the young man from the sticks who woke up first. Sun- 
light was pressing in through the uncurtained window. The girl 
was asleep, her face crushed into the pillow. Her mouth was open 
and with the deep rings under her eyes she looked considerably 
older than she had the night before. Her skin was pasty and green 
and she had stringy hair. He grabbed his clothes and dressed as 
quietly as he could. His watch had stopped. Must be late as hell. 
On a big table deep in dust and littered with drawings of funny 
looking nudes, he found a sheet of yellow paper that had half a 
poem on the back of it. He scribbled on it: Goodby good luck 
Chas. Ed. Holden, and tiptoed out the door with his shoes in his 
hand. He was so afraid she'd wake up that he didn't put on his 
shoes until he'd gone down three flights to the street door. 

76 



Tîiomas Mann 



THE GODLY WARRIOR 



"The Godly Warrior" was written in 1902 and was later reprinted in 
Stories of Three Décades (1936) under the title "Gladius Dei." Mann 
was twenty-seven when the story fîrst appeared, and his long major 
novel, Buddenbrooks, pubUshed a year earlier, was just beginning to 
attract attention. Many of Mann's early short stories deal with "the 
marked man," Uterally or symbolically the artist in his relation to 
life, the individual, isolated, alienated from the status quo. Like the 
young hero in "Gladius Dei" he is, inevitably, psychologically dis- 
rupted. 

When the story appeared in Esquire (in April of 1936) it ran with 
the subtitle: "A Symbolic Portrayal of the Intolérant Puritanism 
That Is an Early Augur of Fascism." Subtitling is a difficult art, too, 
and it may be that Mann's paradoxical commitment to (and identi- 
fication of the sick maladjusted artist with) the Savonarola figure of 
Hieronymus was overlooked. Certainly a writer of subtitles in 1936 
might hâve the evils of Fascism more immediately in his mind than 
Thomas Mann did in 1902; but it is a further testimony to the 
complexity of Mann's stories that even such a purely political inter- 
prétation could be made. 



MUNICH WAS RADIANT. ABOVE THE GAY SQUARES AND WHITE COL- 

umned temples, the classicistic monuments and the baroque 
churches, the leaping fountains, the palaces and parks of the Rési- 
dence there stretched a sky of luminous blue silk. Well-arranged 
leafy vistas laced with sun and shade lay basking in the sunshine 
of a beautiful day in early June. 

There was a twittering of birds and a blithe holiday spirit in ail 
the little streets. And in the squares and past the rows of villas 
there swelled, rolled and hummed the leisurely and entertaining 
traffic of that easy-going charming town. Travellers of ail nation- 
alities drove about in the slow little droschkies looking right and 
left in aimless curiosity at the house-fronts; they climbed and de- 

77 



THOMAS MANN 

scended muséum stairs. Many Windows stood open and music was 
heard from within: practising on piano, cello or violin — earnest 
and well-meant amateur efforts; while from the Odeon came the 
Sound of serions work on several grand pianos. 

Young people, the kind that can whistle the Nothung motif, and 
fill the pit of the Schauspielhaus every evening, wandered in and 
out of the University and Library with Kterary magazines in their 
coat pockets. A court carriage stood before the Academy, the home 
of the plastic arts, which spreads its white wings between the Tur- 
kenstrasse and the Siegestor. And colorful groups of models, pic- 
turesque old men, women and children in Albanian costume, stood 
or lounged at the top of the balustrade. 

Indolent, unhurried sauntering was the mode in ail the long 
streets of the northern quarter. There life is lived for pleasanter 
ends than the driving greed of gain. Young artists with little round 
hats on the backs of their heads, flowing cravats and no canes 
— carefree bachelors who paid for their lodgings with color- 
sketches — were strolling up and down to let the clear blue morning 
play upon their mood, also to look at the little girls, the pretty, 
rather plump type, with the brunette bandeaux, the too large feet 
and the unobjectionable morals. Every fifth house had studio 
Windows blinking in the sun. Sometimes a fine pièce of architecture 
stood out from a middle-class row, the work of some imaginative 
young architect; a wide front with shallow bays and décorations in 
a bizarre style very expressive and full of invention. Or the door to 
some monotonous façade would be framed in a bold improvisation 
of flowing lines and sunny colors, with bacchantes, naiads and 
rosy-skinned nudes. 

It was always a joy to linger before the windows of the cabinet- 
makers and the shops for modem articles-de-luxe. What a sensé for 
luxurious amusing nothings, and signifîcant line is displayed in the 
shape of everything! Little shops that sell picture-f rames, sculptures 
and antiques there were in endless number; in their windows you 
might see those busts of Florentine women of the Renaissance, so 
full of noble poise and poignant charm. And the owners of the 
smallest and meanest of thèse shops spoke to you of Mino da 
Fiesole and Donatello as though he had received the rights of repro- 
duction from them personally. 

But on the Odeonsplatz, in view of the mighty loggia with the 

78 



THE GODLY WARRIOR 

spacious mosaic pavement before it, diagonally opposite to the 
Regent's palace, people were crowding round the large windows 
and glass show-cases of the big art shop owned by M. Bluthenzweig. 
What a glorious display! There were reproductions of the master- 
pieces of ail the galleries in the world, in costly decorated and 
tinted frames, the good taste of which was precious in its very 
simplicity. There were copies of modem paintings, works of a 
joyously sensuous fantasy, in which the antique seemed born again 
in humorous and realistic guise; bronze nu des and fragile orna- 
mental glassware; tall, thin earthenware vases with an iridescent 
glaze produced by a bath in métal steam; éditions de luxe which 
were triumphs of modem binding and presswork, containing the 
Works of the most modish poets, set out with every possible ad- 
vantage of sumptuous élégance. Cheek by jowl with thèse, the 
portraits of artists, musicians, philosophers, actors, writers, dis- 
played to gratify the public taste for personalities. In the first 
window, next the book-shop, a large picture stood on an easel, 
with a crowd of people in front of it, a fine sepia photograph in 
a wide old-gold frame, a very striking reproduction of the sensa- 
tion at this year's great international exhibition, to which public 
attention is always invited by means of effective and artistic posters 
stuck up everywhere on hoardings among concert programs and 
clever advertisements of toilet préparations. 

If you looked into the windows of the book-shop your eye met 
such titles as Interior Décoration Since the Renaissance, The Ren- 
aissance in Modem Décorative Art, The Book as Work of Art, 
The Décorative Arts, Hunger for Art, and many more. And you 
would remember that thèse thought-provoking pamphlets were 
sold and read by the thousand and that discussions on thèse subjects 
were the préoccupation of ail the salons. 

You might be lucky enough to meet in person one of the famous 
fair ones whom less fortunate folk knew only through the médium 
of art; one of those rich and beautiful women whose Titian-blond 
coloring Nature's most sweet and cunning hand did not lay on, 
but whose diamond parures and beguiling charms had received 
immortality from the hand of some portrait-painter of genius and 
whose love-afïairs were the taik of the town. Thèse were the 
queens of the artist balls at carnival-time. They were a little painted, 
a little made up, fuU of haughty caprices, worthy of adoration, 

79 



THOMAS MANN 

avid of praise. You might see a carriage rolling up the Ludwig- 
strasse, with such a great painter and his mistress inside. People 
would be pointing out the sight, standing still to gaze after the pair. 
Some of them would curtsey. A little more and the very policemen 
would stand at attention. 

Art flourished, art swayed the destinies of the town, art stretched 
above it her rose-bound sceptre and smiled. On every hand obse- 
quious interest was displayed in her prosperity, on every hand she 
was served with industry and dévotion. There was a downright 
cuit of line, décoration, form, significance, beauty. Munich was 
radiant. 

A youth was coming down the Schellingstrasse. With the bells 
of cyclists ringing about him he strode across the wooden pave- 
ment towards the broad façade of the Ludwigskirche. Looking at 
him it was as though a shadow passed across the sky, or cast over 
the spirit some memory of melancholy hours. Did he not love the 
Sun which bathed the lovely city in its festal light? Why did he 
walk wrapped in his own thoughts, his eyes directed on the ground? 
No one in that tolérant and variety-loving town would hâve taken 
ofïence at his wearing no hat; but why need the hood of his ample 
black cloak hâve been drawn over his head, shadowing his low, 
prominent and peaked forehead, covering his ears and framing his 
haggard cheeks? 

What pangs of conscience, what scruples and self-tortures had 
so availed to hollow out thèse cheeks? It is frightful on a sunny 
day, to see care sitting in the hollows of the human face. His dark 
brows thickened at the narrow base of his hooked and prominent 
nose. His lips were unpleasantly full, his eyes brown and close- 
lying. When he lifted them, diagonal folds appeared on the peaked 
brow. His gaze expressed knowledge, limitation and suffering. 
Seen in profile his face was strikingly like an old painting preserved 
at Florence in a narrow cloister cell, whence once a frightful and 
shattering protest issued against life and her triumphs. 

Hieronymus walked along the ScheUingstrasse with a slow, firm 
stride, holding his wide cloak together with both hands from inside. 
Two little girls, two of those pretty, plump little créatures with the 
bandeaux, the big feet and the unobjectionable morals, strolled to- 
wards him arm in arm, on pleasure bent. They poked each other 
and laughed, they bent over with laughter. They even broke into 

80 



THE GODLY WARRIOR 

a run and ran away still laughing, at his hood and his face. But 
he paid them no heed. With bent head, looking neither to the right 
nor to the left, he crossed the Ludwigstrasse and mounted the 
church steps. 

The great wings of the middle portai stood wide open. From 
somewhere within the consecrated twiUght, cool, dank, incense- 
laden, there came a pale red glow. An old woman with inflamed 
eyes rose from a prayer stool and slipped on crutches through the 
columns. Otherwise the church was empty. 

Hieronymus sprinkled brow and breast at the stoup, bent the 
knee before the high altar and then paused in the center nave. Hère 
in the church his stature seemed to hâve grown. He stood upright 
and immovable, his head was flung up and his great hooked nose 
jutted domineeringly above the thick lips. His eyes no longer 
sought the ground but looked straight and boldly into the distance, 
at the crucifix on the high altar. Thus he stood a while, then re- 
treating he bent the knee again and left the church. 

He strode up the Ludwigstrasse, slowly, firmly, with bent head in 
the center of the wide unpaven road, towards the mighty loggia 
with its statues. But arrived at the Odeonsplatz he looked up, so 
that the folds came out on his peaked forehead, and checked his 
step, his attention being called to the crowd at the Windows of 
the big art shop of M. Bluthenzweig. 

People moved from window to window, pointing out to each 
other the treasures displayed and exchanging views as they looked 
over one another's shoulders. Hieronymus mingled among them 
and did as they did, taking in ail thèse things with his eyes, one by 
one. 

He saw the reproductions of masterpieces from ail the galleries in 
the world, the priceless frames so precious in their simplicity, the 
Renaissance sculpture, the bronze nudes, the exquisitely bound 
volumes, the iridescent vases, the portraits of artists, musicians, 
philosophers, actors, writers; he looked at everything and turned a 
moment of his scrutiny upon every object. Holding his mantle 
closely together with both hands from inside, he moved his hood- 
covered head in short turns from one thing to the next, gazing at 
each a while with a dull, inimical and remotely surprised air, lift- 
ing the dark brows which grew so thick at the base of the nose. 
At length he stood in front of the last window, which contained 

8i 



THOMAS MANN 

the startiing picture. For a while he looked over the shoulders of 
people before him and then in his turn reached a position directly 
in front of the window. 

The large red-brown photograph in the choice old-gold frame 
stood on an easel in the center. It was a Madonna, but an utterly 
unconventional one, a work of entirely modem feeHng. The figure 
of the Holy Mother was revealed as enchantingly féminine and 
beautiful. Her great smouldering eyes were rimmed with darkness 
and her dehcate and strangely smiHng Hps were half parted. Her 
slender fingers held in a somewhat nervous grasp the bips of the 
Child, a nude boy of pronounced, aknost primitive leanness. He 
was playing with her breast and glancing aside at the beholder with 
a wise look in his eyes. 

Two other youths stood near Hieronymus, talking about the 
picture. They were two young men with books under their arms, 
which they had fetched from the library or were taking thither. 
Humanistically educated people, that is, equipped with science 
and with art. 

"The little chap is in luck, devil take me!" said one. 

"He seems to be trying to make one envions," replied the other. 
"A bewildering female!" 

"A female to drive a man crazy! Gives you funny ideas about 
the Immaculate Conception." 

"No, she doesn't look exactly immaculate. Hâve you seen the 
original?" 

"Of course; I was quite bowled over. She makes an even more 
aphrodisiac impression in color. Especially the eyes." 

"The likeness is pretty plain." 

"How so?" 

"Don't you know the model? Of course he used his little dress- 
maker. It is almost a portrait, only with a lot more emphasis on the 
corruptible. The girl is more innocent." 

"I hope so. Life would be altogether too much of a strain, if 
there were many like this mater amatar 

"The Pinakothek has bought it." 

"Really? Well, well! They knew what they were doing, anyhow. 
The treatment of the flesh and the flow of the linen garment are 
really first-class." 

"Yes, an incredibly gifted chap." 

82 



THE GODLY WARRIOR 

"Do you know him?" 

"A little. He will hâve a career, that is certain. He has been in- 
vited twice by the Prince-Regent." 

This last was said as they were taking leave of each other. 

"Shall I see you this evening at the théâtre?" asked the first. "The 
Dramatic Club is giving MachiaveUi's Mandragahr 

"Oh, bravo! That will be great, of course. I had meant to go to 
the Variété but I shall probably choose our stout Niccolo after 
ail. Goodbye." 

They parted, going ofï to right and left. New people took their 
places and looked at the famous picture. But Hieronymus stood 
where he was, motionless, with his head thrust out; his hands 
clutched convulsively at the mantle as they held it together from 
inside. His brows were no longer lifted with that cool and un- 
pleasantly surprised expression; they were drawn and darkened; 
his cheeks, half shrouded in the black hood, seemed more sunken 
than ever and his thick lips had gone pale. Slowly his head dropped 
lower and lower, so that finally his eyes stared upwards at the work 
of art, while the nostrils of his great nose quivered. 

Thus he remained, for perhaps a quarter of an hour. The crowd 
about him melted away but he did not stir. At last he turned slowly 
on the balls of his feet and went hence. 

But the picture of the Madonna went with him. Always and 
ever, whether in his hard and narrow little room or kneeling in 
the cool church, it stood before his outraged soûl, with its smoul- 
dering dark-rimmed eyes, its riddlingly smiling lips — stark and 
beautiful. And no prayer availed to exorcize it. 

But the third night it happened that a command and summons 
from on High came to Hieronymus, to intercède and lift his voice 
against the frivolity, blasphemy and arrogance of beauty. In vain 
like Moses he protested that he had not the gift of tongues. God's 
will remained unshaken: in a loud voice He demanded that the 
faint-hearted Hieronymus go forth to sacrifice amid the jeers of the 
foe. 

And as God would hâve it so, he set forth one morning and 
wended his way to the great art shop of M. Bluthenzweig. He 
wore his hood over his head and held his mantle together in front 
from inside with both hands as he went. 

The air had grown heavy, the sky was livid and thunder threat- 

83 



THOMAS MANN 

ened. Once more crowds were besieging the show-cases at the 
art shop and especially the window where the photograph of the 
Madonna stood. Hieronymus cast one brief glance thither; then he 
pushed up the latch of the glass door hung with placards and art 
magazines. "As God wills," said he and entered the shop. 

A young girl was somewhere at a desk writing in a big book. 
She was a pretty brunette thing with bandeaux of hair and big f eet. 
She came up to him and asked pleasantly what he would Hke. 

"Thank you," said Hieronymus in a low voice and looked her 
earnestly in the face, with diagonal wrinkles in his peaked brow. 
"I would speak not to you but to the owner of this shop, Herr 
Bluthenzweig." 

She hesitated a little, turned away and took up her work once 
more. He stood there in the middle of the shop. 

Instead of the single spécimens in the show-windows there was 
hère a riot and a heaping-up of luxury, a fulness of color, line, f orm, 
style, invention, good taste and beauty. Hieronymus looked slowly 
round him, drawing his mantle close with both hands. 

There were several people besides him. At one of the broad tables 
running across the room sat a man in a yellow suit, with a black 
goat's-beard, looking at a portfolio of French drawings, over which 
he now and then emitted a bleating laugh. He was being waited 
on by an under-nourished and vegetarian young man, who kept 
on dragging up fresh portfolios. Diagonally opposite the bleating 
man sat an élégant old dame, examining art embroideries with a 
pattern of fabulons flowers in pale tones standing together on tall 
perpendicular stalks. An attendant hovered about her too. A lei- 
surely Englishman in a travelling cap with his pipe in his mouth sat 
at another table. Cold and smooth-shaven, of indefinite âge, in his 
good English clothes, he sat examining bronzes brought to him by 
M. Bluthenzweig in person. He was holding up by the head the 
dainty figure of a nude girl, immature and delicately articulated, 
her hands crossed in coquettish innocence upon her breast. He 
studied her thoroughly, turning her slowly about. M. Bluthenzweig, 
a man with a short, heavy brown beard and bright brown eyes of 
exactly the same color, moved in a semicircle around him, rubbing 
his hands, praising the statuette with ail the terms his vocabulary 
possessed. 

"A hundred and fifty marks. Sir," he said in English. "Munich 

84 



THE GODLY WARRIOR 

art — very charming, in fact. Simply full of charm, you know. 
Grâce itself. Really extremely pretty, good, admirable, in fact." 
Then he thought of some more and went on: "Highly attractive, 
fascinating." Then he began again from the beginning. His nose 
lay a little flat on his upper lip, so that he breathed constantly with 
a sKght sniff into his moustache. Sometimes he did this as he ap- 
proached a customer, stooping over as though he were smeUing 
at him. When Hieronymus entered M. Bluthenzweig examined 
him cursorily in this way, then devoted himself again to his Eng- 
lishman. 

The élégant old dame made her sélection and left the shop. A 
man entered. M. Bluthenzweig snifïed briefly his capacity to buy 
and left him to the young bookkeeper. The man purchased a faïence 
bust of young Pietro de' Medici, son of Lorenzo, and went out 
again. The Englishman began to départ. He had acquired the 
statuette of the little girl and left amid bowings from M. Bluthen- 
zweig. Then the art dealer turned to Hieronymus and came for- 
ward. 

"You wanted something?" he said, without any particular cour- 
tesy. Hieronymus held his cloak together with both hands and 
looked the other in the face almost without winking an eyelash. He 
parted his big lips slowly and said: 

"I hâve come to you on account of the picture in the window 
there, the big photograph, the Madonna." His voice was thick and 
without modulation. 

"Yes, quite right," said M. Bluthenzweig briskly and began 
rubbing his hands. "Seventy marks in the frame. It is unfadable — 
a first-class reproduction. Highly attractive and full of charm." 

Hieronymus was silent. He nodded his head in the hood and 
shrank a little into himself, as the dealer spoke. Then he drew 
himself up again and spoke: 

"I would remark to you fîrst of ail that I am not in the position 
to purchase anything, nor hâve I the désire. I am sorry to hâve 
to disappoint your expectations. I regret if it upsets you. But in 
the first place I am poor and in the second I do not love the things 
you sell. No, I cannot buy anything." 

"No? Well, then?" asked Bluthenzweig, snifEng a good deal. 
"Then may I ask— " 

85 



THOMAS MANN 

"I suppose," Hieronymus went on, "that being what you are you 
look down on me because I am not in a position to buy." 

"Oh — er — not at ail," said M. Bluthenzweig. "Not at ail. 
Only— " 

"And yet I beg you to hear me and give some considération to 
my words." 

"Considération to your words. H'm — may I ask — " 

"You may ask," said Hieronymus, "and I will answer you. I 
hâve come to get you to remove that picture, the big photograph, 
the Madonna, out of your window and never display it again." 

M. Bluthenzweig looked a while dumbly into Hieronymus' 
face — as though he expected him to be abashed at the words he had 
just uttered. But as this did not happen he gave a violent snifï and 
spoke himself : 

"Will you be so good as to tell me whether you are hère in any 
officiai capacity which authorizes you to dictate to me, or what 
does bring you hère?" 

"Oh, no," replied Hieronymus, "I hâve neither office nor dig- 
nity from the state. I hâve no power on my side, Sir. What brings 
me hither is my conscience alone." 

M. Bluthenzweig, searching for words, snorted violently into his 
moustache. At length he said: 

"Your conscience . . . well, you will kindly understand that I 
take not the faintest interest in your conscience." With which 
he turned round and moved quickly to his desk at the back of the 
shop, where he began to write. Both attendants laughed heartily. 
The pretty Fraulein giggled over her account-book. As for the 
yellow gentleman with the goat's-beard, he was evidently a for- 
eigner, for he gave no sign of compréhension but went on studying 
the French drawings and emitting from time to time his bleating 
laugh. 

"Just get rid of the man for me," said M. Bluthenzweig shortly 
over his shoulder to his assistant. He went on writing. The poorly 
paid young vegetarian approached Hieronymus smothering his 
laughter, and the other salesman came up too. 

"May we be of service to you in any other way?" the first asked 
mildly. Hieronymus fixed him with his glazed and suffering eyes. 

"No," he said, "you cannot. I beg you to take the Madonna 
picture out of the window, at once and forever." 

86 



THE GODLY WARRIOR 



^But— why?" 

"It is the Holy Mother of God," said Hieronymus in a subdued 
voice. 

"Quite. But you hâve heard that Herr Bluthenzweig is not in- 
clined to accède to your request." 

"We must bear in mind that it is the Holy Mother of God," said 
Hieronymus again and his head trembled on his neck. 

"So we must . . . But should we not be allowed to exhibit any 
Madonnas — or paint any?" 

*'ït is not that," said Hieronymus, almost whispering. He drew 
himself up and shook his head violently several times. His peaked 
brow under the hood was entirely furrowed with long deep cross- 
folds. "You know very well that it is vice itself that is painted 
there — naked sensuaHty. I w^as standing near two simple young 
people and overheard with my own ears that it led them astray 
upon the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception." 

"Oh, permit me — that is not the point," said the young sales- 
man smiling. In his leisure hours he was writing a brochure on the 
modem movement in art and was well qualified to conduct a cul- 
tured conversation. "The picture is a work of art," he went on, 
"and one must measure it by the appropriate standards as such. It 
has been very highly praised on ail hands. The state has purchased 



it." 



"I know that the state has purchased it," said Hieronymus. "I 
also know that the artist has twice dined with the Prince-Regent. 
It is common talk — and God knows how people interpret the fact 
that a man can become famous by such work as this. What does 
such a fact bear witness to? To the blindness of the world, a blind- 
ness inconceivable, if not indeed shamelessly hypocritical. This 
picture has its origin in sensual lust and is enjoyed in the same — is 
that true or not? Answer me! And you too answer me, Herr Blu- 
thenzweig! " 

A pause ensued. Hieronymus seemed in ail seriousness to demand 
an answer to his question, looking by turns at the staring attendants 
and the rock back M. Bluthenzweig turned upon him, with his 
own piercing and anguishing brown eyes. Silence reigned. Only 
the yellow man with the goat's-beard, bending over the French 
drawings, broke it with his bleating laugh. 

"It is true," Hieronymus went on in a hoarse voice that shook 

87 



THOMAS MANN 

with his profound indignation. "You do not dare deny it. How 
then can honor be done to its creator, as though he had endowed 
mankind with a new idéal possession? How can one stand before 
it and surrender unthinkingly to the base enjoyment which it 
purveys, persuading oneself in ail seriousness that one is yielding 
to a noble and elevated sentiment, highly creditable to the human 
race? Is this reckless ignorance or abandoned hypocrisy? My under- 
standing falters, it is completely at a loss when confronted by the 
absurd fact that a man can achieve renown on this earth by the 
stupid and shameless exploitation of the animal instincts. Beauty? 
What is beauty? What forces are they which use beauty as their 
tool today — and upon what does it work? No one can fail to know 
this, Herr Bluthenzweig. But who, understanding it clearly, can 
fail to feel disgust and pain? It is criminal to play upon the igno- 
rance of the immature, the lewd, the brazen and the unscrupulous 
by elevating beauty into an idol to be worshipped, to give it even 
more power over those who know not affliction and hâve no 
knowledge of rédemption. You are unknown to me, and you look 
at me with black looks — y et answer me! Knowledge, I tell you, 
is the profoundest torture in the world; but it is the purgatory 
without whose purifying pangs no soûl can reach salvation. It is 
not infantile, blasphémons shallowness that can save us, Herr Blu- 
thenzweig; only knowledge can avail, knowledge in which the 
passions of our loathsome flesh die away and are quenched." 

Silence. — The yellow man with the goat's-beard gave a sudden 
little bleat. 

"I think you really must go now," said the underpaid assistant 
mildly. 

But Hieronymus made no move to do so. Drawn up in his hooded 
cape he stood with blazing eyes in the center of the shop and his 
thick lips poured out condemnation in a voice that was harsh and 
rusty and clanking. 

"Art, you cry; enjoyment, beauty! Enfold the world in beauty 
and endow ail things with the noble grâce of style — Profligate, 
away! Do you think to wash over with lurid colors the misery of 
the world? Do you think with the sounds of feasting and music 
to drown out the voice of the tortured earth? Shameless one, you 
err! God lets not Himself be mocked, and your impudent déifica- 
tion of the glistening surface of things is an abomination in His 

88 



THE GODLY WARRIOR 

eyes. You tell me that I blasphème art. I say to y ou that y ou lie. I 
do not blasphème art. Art is no conscienceless delusion, lending 
itself to reinforce the allurements of the fleshly. Art is the holy 
torch which turns its light upon ail the frightful depths, ail the 
shameful and woeful abysses of life; art is the godly fire laid to the 
world that being redeemed by pity it may flame up and dissolve 
altogether with its shames and torments. — Take it out, Herr Blu- 
thenzweig, take away the work of that famous painter out of your 
window — you would do well to burn it with a hot fire and strew its 
ashes to the four winds — y es, to ail the four winds — " 

His harsh voice broke ofî. He had taken a violent backwards 
step, snatched one arm from his black wrappings and stretched it 
passionately forth, gesturing towards the window with a hand 
that shook as though palsied. And in this commanding attitude he 
paused. His great hooked nose seemed to jut more than ever, his 
dark brows were gathered so thick and high that folds crowded 
upon the peaked forehead shaded by the hood; a hectic flush man- 
tled his hollow cheeks. 

But at this point M. Bluthenzweig turned round. Perhaps he 
was outraged by the idea of burning his seventy-mark reproduc- 
tion; perhaps Hieronymus' speech had completely exhausted his 
patience. In any case he was a picture of stern and righteous anger. 
He pointed with his pen to the door of the shop, gave several 
short, excited snorts into his moustache, struggled for words and 
uttered with the maximum of energy those which he found: 

"My fine fellow, if you don't get out at once I will hâve my 
packer help you — do you understand?" 

"Oh, you cannot intimidate me, you cannot drive me away, you 
cannot silence my voice," cried Hieronymus as he clutched his 
cloak over his chest with his fists and shook his head doughtily. 
"ï know that I am single-handed and powerless, but yet I will not 
cease until you hear me, Herr Bluthenzweig! Take the picture 
out of your window and burn it even todayî And burn not it alone! 
Burn ail thèse statues and busts, the sight of which plunges the be- 
holder into sin, burn thèse vases and ornaments, thèse shameless 
revivais of paganism, thèse elegantly bound volumes of erotic verse! 
Burn everything in your shop, Herr Bluthenzweig, for it is a 
filthiness in God's sight. Burn it, burn it!" he shrieked beside him- 
self, describing a wild, all-embracing circle with his arm. "The 

89 



THOMAS MANN 

harvest is ripe for the reaper, the measure of the age's shameless- 
ness is full — but I say unto you — " 

"Krauthuber!" Herr Bluthenzweig raised his voice and shouted 
toward a door at the back of the shop. "Corne in hère at once!" 

And in answer to the summons there appeared upon the scène a 
massive and overpowering présence, a vast and awe-inspiring, 
swollen human bulk, whose limbs merged into each other like Hnks 
of sausage — a gigantic son of the people, malt-nourished and im- 
moderate, who weighed in, with puffings, bursting with energy, 
from the packing-room. His appearance in the upper reaches of 
his form was notable for a fringe of walrus beard; a hide apron 
fouled with paste covered his body from the waist down, and his 
yellow shirt-sleeves were rolled back from his heroic arms. 

"Will you open the door for this gentleman, Krauthuber?" said 
M. Bluthenzweig, "and if he should not find the way to it, just help 
him into the street." 

"Huh," said the man, looking from his enraged employer to 
Hieronymus and back with his little éléphant eyes. It was a heavy 
monosyllable, suggesting reserve force restrained with difîiculty. 
The floor shook with his tread as he went to the door and opened 
it. 

Hieronymus had grown very pale. "Burn — " he shouted once 
more. He was about to go on when he felt himself turned round 
by an irrésistible power, by a physical prépondérance to which 
no résistance was even thinkable. Slowly and inexorably he was 
propelled towards the door. 

"I am weak," he managed to ejaculate. "My flesh cannot beat 
the force . . . it cannot hold its ground . . . no . . . but what 
does that prove? Burn — " 

He stopped. He found himself outside the art shop. M. Blu- 
thenzweig's giant packer had let him go with one final shove, which 
set him down on the stone threshold of the shop, supporting him- 
self with one hand. Behind him the door closed with a rattle of 
glass. 

He picked himself up. He stood erect, breathing heavily, and 
pulled his cloak together with one fist over his breast, letting the 
other hang down inside. His hollow cheeks had a grey pallor; the 
nostrils of his great hooked nose opened and closed; his ugly lips 
were writhen in an expression of hatred and despair and his red- 

90 



THE GODLY WARRIOR 

rimmed eyes wandered like those of a man in a frenzy over the 
beautiful square. 

He did not see that people were looking at him with amusement 
and curiosity. For what he beheld upon the mosaic pavement be- 
fore the great loggia were ail the vanities of this world: the masked 
costumes of the artist balls, the décorations, vases and art objects, 
the nude statues, the female busts, the picturesque rebirths of the 
pagan âge; the portraits of famous beauties by masterly hands, the 
elegantly bound erotic verse, the art brochures — ail thèse he saw 
heaped in a pyramid and going up in crackling flames amid exult- 
ant cries from the people enthralled by his own frightful v\/ords. 
The yellow background of cloud had drawn up over the Thea- 
tinerstrasse and from it issued wild rumblings; but what he saw was 
a burning fiery sword, towering in sulphurous light above the 
joyous city. 

''Gladius dei super terram . . ." his thick lips whispered; and 
drawing himself still higher in his hooded cloak while the hand 
hanging down inside it twitched convulsively he murmured quak- 
ing: "cito et velociterr 



91 



F. Scott FitZ2,cralà 



THREE ACTS OF MUSIC 



F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote, in seven years, forty-five pièces for 
Esquire. Among them were some of his finest short stories and his 
most famous essay, "The Crack Up" (his title wryly continued, "or 
The Best Laid Plans") which, more than any other of his non- 
fiction work, has led to an understanding of the continuity of Fitz- 
gerald's private, public and literary self. 

In one of the three installments he observed, "There are always 
those to whom ail self -révélation is contemptible." And many of Fitz- 
gerald's friends were, indeed, at least alarmed for him by the utter 
directness with which he confessed to despair and took stock of his 
Personal history in print. In an afïectionate and uneasy letter, Dos 
Passos (whose novel, The Big M one y, had just been published) in- 
quired how he found time to worry about his inner situation at such 
a moment in history (1936) and further suggested that if he wanted 
to crack up he at least ought to write serions fiction about it instead 
of giving it in pièces to Arnold Gingrich. But, like one of his own 
mythically aristocratie heroes, Fitzgerald remained superior to feel- 
ings of shame; and certainly such authentic personal candor has 
seldom emerged from between the covers of a slick magazine. 

"Three Acts of Music" was published in May 1936, directly after 
the crack up séries, and it is hère reprinted for the first time. Arnold 
Gingrich tells how it came to be written: 

"Zelda was in an expensive private sanitarium. Scott was too proud 
to let her be put anywhere else and had overextended his crédit in 
ail directions. We had kept making advances, sometimes by day to 
banks and sometimes by night to hôtels, to cover checks that Scott 
would Write as soon as he had sent us a wire asking for the advances, 
and fînally our auditors began asking about this non-writing writer 
who was getting more fréquent advances than anybody else. 

"I went down to Baltimore to see what I could do about it. 

"Scott said, ^The Satiirday Evening Fost won't give me any 
more money until I deliver a manuscript, and I can't write the only 
kind of thing they'll take. They want stories of young love. Ober 

92 



THREE ACTS OF MUSIC 

[Fitzgerald's literary agent] has the patience of a saint, but his re- 
sources aren't endless, and he can't advance me any more money ont 
of his own pocket, and now if you and your auditors fail me, Fve no- 
where left to turn.' 

"I said that just to satisfy the auditors, and to be able to say that a 
script — perhaps needing some revision — had been received on such 
and such a date so the account wouldn't look Hke ail going out and 
nothing coming in, Scott should write three purported articles simply 
saying why he couldn't write. I suggested that he put down anything 
that came into his head, as automatic writing in the Gertrude Stein 
manner, or that, if even that were beyond his powers of concen- 
tration, he simply copy out the same couple of sentences over and 
over, often enough to fill eight or ten pages, if only to say I can't 
write stories about young love for The Saturday Evening Post, 

"I also hoped that there might be a therapeutic value in writing 
thèse three non-articles, in that the mère writing about why he 
couldn't write might in itself prime the pump enough to get him 
started writing again. Actually that's what happened. The first three 
articles were: 'The Crack Up,' 'Pasting It Together,' and 'Handle 
ît With Care'; and then along came a fourth, although the séries as 
such was fînished, called 'Three Acts of Music' " 



THEY COULD HARDLY HEAR IT FOR A WHILE. IT WAS A SLOW GLEAM 

of pale blue and creamy pink. Then there was a tall room where 
there were many young people and fînally they began to feel it 
and hear it. 

What were they — no. This is about music. 

He went to the band-stand; the piano player let him lean over 
his shoulder to read: 

"From No, No, Nanette by Vincent Youmans." 

"Thank you," he said, "Fd like to drop something in the horn 
but when an interne has a dollar bill and two coins in the world 
he might get married instead." 

"Never mind, doctor. That's about what I had when I got 
married last winter." 

When he came back to the table she said: 

*'Did you find out who wrote that thing?" 

^'No! When do we go from hère?" 

"When they stop playing Tea for TnjooT 

93 



F. SCOTT FITZGERALD 

Later as she came out of the women's dressing room, she asked 
the man: "Who played it?" 

"My God, how do I know. The band played it." 
It dripped out the door now: 

Tea . . . 
. . . tlûO 

Two . . . 
, . . tea 

"We can never get married. Fm not even a nurse yet." 

"Well, let's kill the idea — let's spend the rest of our lives going 
around and hstening to tunes. What did you say that writer's name 
was?" 

"What did you say? You went over and looked, dint you?" 

^'Didn^t you," he corrected her. 

"You're so swell ail the time." 

"Well, at least I found out who wrote it." 

"Who?" 

"Somebody named Vincent Youmans." 

She hummed it over: 



"And you 
And me . 



. for me 
for you 



Al— 
o- 
o- 

n-n . . ." 

Their arms went about each other for a moment in the corridor 
outside the red room. 

"If you lost the dollar bill and the other nickel Fd still marry 
you," she said. 

II 

This is now years later but there was still music. There was AU 
Alone and Remember and Alnjoays and Blue Skies and Hoiv About 
Me. He was back from Vienna but it didn't seem to matter so much 
as it had before. 

"Wait in hère a moment," she said outside the operating room. 
"Turn on the radio if you want to." 

94 



THREEACTSOFMUSIC 

"YouVe got mighty important, haven't you?" 

He turned on: 

Ke-7nem-beT 
the night 
the night 
y ou satd — 

"Are you high-hatting me?" she inquired, "or did medicine 
begin and end in Vienna?" 

"No it didn't," he said humbly. "Fm impressed — evidently you 
can supervise the résident or the surgeons — " 

"Fve got an opération of Doctor Menafee's coming in and there's 
a tonsilectomy that's got to be postponed. Fm a working girl. Fm 
supervising the operating room." 

"But you'll go out with me tonight — won't you? We'll get 
them to play AU Alone'^ 

She paused, regarding him. 

"Yes, Fve been ail alone for a lot of time now. Fm somebody — 
you don't seem to realize it. Say who is this Berlin anyhow? He 
was a singer in a dive wasn't he? My brother ran a roadhouse and 
he gave me money to get started with. But I thought I was away 
from ail that. Who is this Irving Berlin? I hear he's just married 
a Society girl — " 

"He's just married — " 

She had to go: "Excuse me. Fve got to fire an interne before 
this gets going." 

"I was an interne once. I understand." 

They were out at last. She was making three thousand a year 
now and he was still being of a conservative old Vermont family. 

"This Irving Berlin now. Is he happy with this Mackay girl? 
Those songs don't sound — " 

"I guess he is. The point is how happy are you?" 

"Oh we discussed that so long ago. What do ï matter? I matter 
in a big way — but when I was a little country girl your fambly 
decided — 

"Not you^''' she said at the alarm in his eyes. "I know you never 
did." 

"I knew something else about you. I knew three things — that 

95 



F. SCOTT FITZGERALD 

you were a Yonkers girl — and didn't pronounce the language like 
I did— " 

"And that I wanted to marry you. Let's forget it. Your friend 
Mr. Berlin can talk better than we can. Listen to him." 
"Fm listening." 
"No. But lisden, I mean." 

Not for just a year but — 
"Why do you say my friend Mr. Beriin? I never saw the guy." 
"I thought maybe you'd met him in Vienna in ail thèse years." 
"I never saw him." 
"He married the girl — didn't he?" 
"What are you crying about?" 

"Fm not crying. ï just said he married the girl — didn't he? Isn't 
that ail right to say? When you've come so far — when — " 
"You are crying," he said. 

"No, Fm not. Honest. It's this work. It wears down your eyes. 
Let's dance." 

— 
— ver 
— head 
They were playing. 

Blue 
skies 



ver 
head 
She looked up out of his arms suddenly. 
"Do you suppose they're happy?" 
"Who?" 

"Irving BerKn and the Mackay girl?" 

"How should I know whether they're happy? I tell you I 
never knew them — never saw them." 
A moment later she whispered: 
"We ail knew them." 

III 

This story is about tunes. Perhaps the tunes swing the people 
or the people the tunes. Anyhow: 

96 



THREE ACTS OF MUSIC 

"We'îî never do it," he remarked with some finality. 

Smoke gets in your eyes said the music. 

"Why?" 

"Because we're too old. You wouldn't want to anyhow— 
you've got that job at Duke's Fîospital." 

"I just got it." 

"Well, youVe just got it. And it's going to pay you four thou- 
sand." 

"That's probably half what you make." 

"You mean you want to try it anyhow?" 
When your hearfs on fire 

"No. I guess you're right. It's too late." 

" — Too late for what?" 

"Just too late — like you told me." 

"But I didn't mean it." 

"You were right though . . . Be quiet: 

Lovely 

to look at 
Romantic 

to knoiv 

"You're ail those things in the song," he said passionately. 

"What? Lovely to look at and ail that? You should hâve told 
me that fifteen years ago. Now Fm superintendent of a woman's 
hospital." She added: "And Fm still a woman." Then she added: 
"But Fm not the woman you knew any more. Fm another woman." 

— lovely to look at the orchestra repeated. 

"Yes, I was lovely to look at when I was nothing — when I 
couldn't even talk plain — " 

"I never knew — " 

"Oh let's not go over it. Listen to what they're playing." 

"It's called Lovely to Look At'' 

"Who's it by?" 

"A man named Jérôme Kern." 

"Did you meet htm when you went back to Europe the second 
time? Is he a friend of yours?" 

"I never saw him. What gives you the impression I met ail thèse 
big shots? Fm a doctor. Not a musician." 

She wondered about her own bitterness. 

97 



F. SCOTT FITZGERALD 

"I suppose because ail those years I met nobody," she said 
fînally. "Sure, I once saw Doctor Kelly at a distance. But hère I 
am — because I got good at my job." 

"And hère I am, because — " 

"You'll always be wonderful to me. What did you say this 
man's name was?" 

"Kern. And I didn't say it was. I said it w." 

"That's the way you used to talk to me. And now both of us 
are fat and — sort of middle-aged. We never had much. Did we?" 

"It wasn't my fault." 

"It wasn't anybody's fault. It was just meant to be like that. Let's 
dance. That's a good tune. What did you say was this man's 
name?" 

"Kern." 

They 

asked me honjo I 

knew-ew-ew — 

"WeVe had ail that anyhow, haven't we?" she asked him. "Ail 
those people — that Youmans, that Berlin, that Kern. They must 
hâve been through hell to be able to write like that. And we sort 
of listened to them, didn't we?" 

"But my God, that's so little — " he began but her mood changed 
and she said: 

"Let's not say anything about it. It was ail we had — everything 
we'll ever know about life. What were their names — you knew 
their names." 

"Their names were — " 

"Didn't you ever know any of them in that fifteen years around 
Europe?" 

"I never saw one of them." 

"Well, I never will." She hesitated before the wide horizon of 
how she might hâve lived. How she might hâve married this man, 
borne him children, died for him — of how she had lived out of 
sordid poverty and éducation — into power — and spinsterhood. 
And she cared not a damn for her man any more because he had 
never gone off with her. But she wondered how thèse composers 
had lived. Youmans and Irving Berlin and Jérôme Kern and she 
thought that if any of their wives turned up in this hospital she 
would try to make them happy. 

98 



Maxim Gorki 



LIFE IN A PRISON CELL 



Alexei Maximovich Pyeshkofï coined his pen name, Maxim Gorki 
(Maxim "the Bitter"), when his first story was published in 1892. 
Six years later his Sketches and Stories appeared and from ]unk 
gatherer in the city dumps, dishwasher on a Volga steamer, floor 
scrubber, diaper washer, stevedore, janitor-gardener and gênerai 
holder of odd jobs, Gorki became the most famous proletarian writer 
in Russia. His picture appeared on post cards and cigarette boxes; 
tramps and rebels adopted him as their patron; and he was introduced 
to Chekhov and Tolstoi. Lenin called him the foremost représenta- 
tive of proletarian art and sought his writings for Bolshevik publi- 
cations. 

More than any other writer, Gorki bridges the gap between pre- 
and post-revolutionary Russian literature. He was the first in Russian 
literature to write about the prolétariat, and this was one of the 
reasons his writing created such an immédiate sensation. From 
the tum of the century his activities and his writing were tied up 
with the struggles of the Bolshevik party. Even his death, in 1936, 
is supposed to hâve been caused by an anti-Stalinist physician. 

Gorki was imprisoned four times in his life: in 1890 the charge was 
rooming with political suspects; in 1898 he was jailed in Metekh 
Castle for "revolutionary activities"; in 1901, accused of sédition, he 
was confined for five months (in spite of his ill health: he sufïered 
from T.B.) in the Nizhni-Novgorod prison; and in 1905, for his fierce 
denunciation of the slaughter, by Czarist forces, of 500 workers he 
was imprisoned for six weeks in St. Petersburg's Fortress of St. Peter 
and St. Paul, the prison for high treason. "Life in a Prison Cell" 
reflects thèse expériences. The story points up again the paradoxical 
way in which Gorki can indicate his opposition to passivity and non- 
resistance to evil with a grim setting and plot. The nameless protago- 
nist continues rebellious to the end and, phoenix-like, émerges in his 
own grim triumph (the smoke escaping through the window; the 
spots on the wall trembling "joyously"). With remarkable psycho- 
logical insight Gorki makes his character intensely individual at the 
same time he uses him as représentative of a whole social group. 

99 



MAXIM GORKI 



"Life in a Prison Cell" appeared in Esquire for April 1937. It is not 
mentioned in the Library of Congress Bibliography of Gorki in 
English, and is reprinted hère for the first time. 



THE EVENING CHECKUP HAD JUST ENDED. STANDING IN THE MIDDLE 

of his cell the prisoner listened to the last sounds from the prison 
yard die out. 

The boit creaked noisily; the air shook as though from the 
sharp report of a gun; this was followed by a heavy sound of 
irons, a firm and even step, and then nothing more. You would 
hâve thought that the prison had suddenly been plunged into a 
substance that was impervious and sealed not only to sounds, but 
even to the air. 

For another two minutes, without moving from the spot, the 
prisoner listens: nothing more comes to shatter the overwhelming 
silence. Then he lightly sighs with relief, contracts his eyebrows, 
casting a mistrusting glance at the dark corners of the cell, and 
slowly approaches the vi^indow with silent steps. 

He is a man still quite young, with an unheakhy looking face, 
and with large eyes. They are opened wide, and an expression of 
fearful expectation never leaves them. An imprint of terror and 
amazement hangs about his whole person; this impression is ac- 
centuated still further by his tapering shoulders which are raised 
as if to conceal his head. ït is two months now that he has been 
arrested, but he hasn't been questioned yet, and he doesn't know 
for what reason they hâve locked him up in this frightful room 
with its yellow doors and iron-barred window. He has waited a 
long time to learn what he was guilty of; at first he had been 
indignant, and had protested; he pictured the frantic alarm of his 
poor old parents, and this idea now plunged him into fits of tears, 
and now into outbursts of pent up rage. 

But days after days had passed, and the silent walls had gradually 
worn away the fiery strength of his body, replacing it with a 
perpétuai state of fear, and his being was filled with an eternal 
wait for something terrible to happen. 

Standing near the window, he presses his face against the iron 
bars, without winking an eye, and desperately looks out into the 
night. And the night is so laden with darkness, that it seems that if 

100 



LIFE IN A PRISON CELL 

you could pass your arm outside, it would be enveloped by a black 
and moist substance, like soot. Somewhere, far away, a tiny light 
glitters wretchedly, and completely surrounded by the darkness, it 
also seems to be imprisoned. From behind his iron bars the man bas 
become accustomed to look towards this unknown little light each 
night, and he realizes that it is just as weak as he, and therefore re- 
sembles him. And each night, after the checkup, surrounded by 
silence and darkness, the man feels fear ascending and growing in 
him. 

He would like to turn around and examine his cell, but he doesn't 
dare. He knows that the cell gets its light from a lamp hanging 
from the casing above the door, and that shadows lie hidden in the 
corners; he knows that besides thèse shadows, the bed, the table, 
and the chair, the cell contains absolutely nothing else, for it is 
impossible for anything else to be there. He is convinced of it, he 
knows it; but still he doesn't quite beheve it, and even though he 
has a very clear notion of his isolation, he feels nevertheless as if he 
weren't alone. 

For a long time he has known by heart the location of the 
smallest spots and cracks in the paint on the walls, and even while 
continuing to stare into the night, he seeks to picture them to him- 
self in order to calm himself and subdue his fear. Above the bed 
someone before him had covered the wall with huge columns of 
figures, having probably applied himself to long, studied cal- 
culations in order to beguile the emptiness of the days and to fight 
against his loneliness. On the wall opposite were sprawled wide 
green spots of dampness, and in one of them a hand had scratched 
in large type: 

Over hill and dale ive marched, yo, ho! 
Two highivayinen of Koussovo, 
Without any ambition and just rags on our back, 
Then we spent the night at a girl friend^s shack, 
Where ive had plenty to drink and plenty of snack. 
Hah! 

He had thought about this "hah" for a long time, asking 
himself what meaning it could hâve had as to the state of mind of 
the two highwaymen. ... A shout of joy? Of cruelty? And he 
had decided that this interjection probably expressed the appetite, 

ICI 



MAXIM GORKI 

the pleasure of eating and drinking like gluttons, yes, precisely, 
greedily chewing away . . . he pictured that very easily. Those 
two highwaymen must hâve been well-known jolly blades, cut- 
throats, ragged and happy, and certainly incapable of feeling the 
sHghtest fear. But on the other hand, he had no success in imagin- 
ing how the man must hâve been who in a corner beside the door 
had scribbled: "Hère tarried Jacob Ignatier Orissof for murdering 
his wife and Sacha Grizlof on account of their filthy carrying-on. It 
was in January, 1897, that I eut out their insides." Lower down 
was represented a foui oath, and a cottage with three Windows 
and above the roof, something like a jumble of hair, probably 
standing for trees or smoke coming out of the chimney. 

In the opposite corner, near the window, a pièce of torn away 
plaster makes one think of an animal whose skin one was trying 
to tear ofî. The door is constructed of heavy timber and closed 
in with iron. A square opening eut into the thickness of the wood 
is concealed on the outside by the addition of a little métal cross 
which does not stufï it up completely, and makes this gap, through 
which the light from the corridor steals in, seem like a misshapen 
eye, always watching. 

The prisoner knows his cell even in its most minute détails, and 
yet the more he knows it, the more he can feel the présence there 
of something which he doesn't see, but which he can almost touch. 
This something returns each night to fill his heart with terror, and 
each night it becomes bolder and bolder. It always stands behind 
him, and even when he presses his back against the wall it still 
remains behind him, invincible, silent, and triumphant, and blow- 
ing cold chills down to his marrowbones. You could call it a 
monster, incessantly brooding over him with lust, which suddenly, 
in the nakedness of ail its horror, will sink its slimy paws into his 
heart, and will begin to squeeze, squeeze. . . . It is gigantic, 
heavy, greenish as the mud in a marsh, and coated over with a 
stinking sécrétion. The prisoner feels it, clearly, and his whole 
body trembles; he continues to look through the irons of the 
window, for he does not dare to turn around. His eyes pain him, 
as if the darkness of the night had come and touched them, and 
was weighing down upon them; his legs shake with fatigue, but 
he cannot tear himself away from the spot where he is standing, 

102 



LIFE IN A PRISON CELL 

for fear that in turning around he may discover this "thing" that 
terrorizes him. 

And ail this while, on the outside, the silence and the darkness 
merge into one single mass, and it seems that everything on the 
earth has been stifled by this cataclysm, that everything is dead, 
and that nothing is left in the world but just one man, locked up 
in this cell, and condemned to eternal waiting — the most frightful 
of punishments. 

He will be waiting for the rest of eternity: years, centuries — 
and this night is going to be indefinitely prolonged; there will 
no longer be any day, and the sun will never rise again! And this 
"thing" will always be there behind him, and will continue to 
watch him, in silence. . . . 

Heavy footsteps hâve re-echoed behind the window. The 
prisoner jumps up with joy, but then he hastily draws back, be- 
comes motionless, and listens. 

"Hait!" commands a hollow and sluggish voice; there is the 
Sound of the butt-ends of guns hitting the ground. The sentinel 
counts rapidly and in a low voice: 

"Twelve windows. . . . Two watch-towers." . . . 

"Say, you, Finn, if you should see a head moving near one of the 
Windows, that's no reason for shooting. Get it?" 
1 get it. 

"Explain that to him, adjutant." 

In the silence each word rings out sharp and clear, like the bright- 
ness of a flash of fîre in the dark. 

"And if you see any one looking out through the window, you 
don't hâve to shoot. Do you understand?" 

"Perfectly, adjutant." 

The voice of the one answering thus is timid and sad, and you 
can feel that the words he pronounces are strange to him, while 
the other one's voice is low, rough, and authoritative. 

"But if someone should pass through the window, and should 
begin to flee either this way or that way — well, you see, don't 
you?" 

"Perfectly, adjutant." 

"Then immediately you are to cry out: *Who goes there?' 
Once, twice, and the third time, you are to shoot in the air, to 

103 



MAXIM GORKI 

give the alarm . . . but you also are to fîre on the one escaping, 
or else you're to strike him uppermost with your butt-end or 
bayonet ... if that's any better, understand?" 

"Perfectly, adjutant." 

"And so, look, you go and you corne from hère . . . to hère, 
and you watch the windows. And you must take great care not 
even to close your eyes for a second." 

*'No, no, adjutant." 

"Ail night, now repeat. Under what conditions are you to fîre?" 

"If he cornes towards me . . ." 

"And if he should simply leap over the wall?" 

A long silence. You could hear someone breathing with difficulty, 
and you could also hear a rumbling and impatient moving about. 

"Well, damn you ... ?" 

"Then . . . you must hit . . ." 

"And if you should see a head by the window?" 

Again, silence. The sound of the butt-ends. Someone spits. 

"Well, blockhead! Shake the cobwebs out of your brains, damn 
you!" 

"Then, nothing." 

"Why no! No, imbécile! Then you must say: Tull in your 
head!' Do you understand ail that? AU right, that's good. Now, 
beat it! March!" 

The prisoner has again leaned over by the window to try to 
make out who this sentinel is with this sorry voice. But the narrow 
alley between the prison wall and the high outside slope is veiled 
in darkness. A dim outline walks around slowly there, and almost 
noiselessly, and only the bayonet gleams sometimes in the dark, 
like a fish reflected in the water. 

"Pull in your head ... !" resounds the timid voice of the 
soldier. 

The prisoner draws a step back, turns around abruptly towards 
the door, and takes a look ail around in his cell. Then he goes 
towards his bed, sits down, and leaning forward, supporting him- 
self on his hands, he steadily looks at the wall facing him. 

A little mouse jumps out from behind the plinth and softly rolls 
along the floor, just as a bail of wool would roll. Clever and grace- 
ful, it runs to and fro, lifting up its little nose and smelling the air. 
Its little ears wriggle. While folio wing her with his eyes, the 

104 



LIFE IN A PRISON CELL 

prisoner never stops listening to the restless and rapid beating of 
his heart. 

"If it is already ten o'clock, then there are still six or seven hours 
left to wait before dawn cornes . . ." 

And at this thought anguish overwhelms him. Its sensations are 
so bitter that it seems that every bone in his body is being pounded, 
that his muscles are tearing, and that his skin is shrinking just as if 
it is wasting away. 

He lets his head droop even more, he clenches his teeth, and thus 
he remains motionless for a long time, a long time. 

"Ah— ah— ah . . . oh— oh — oo— oo!" 

He leaps up with a shock. For a second he thought that it was 
from his heart that this long and sorrowful wailing had escaped, 
without his having been conscious of it. But no, that comes from 
the window; it is on the outside that someone is groaning, and 
the Sound, hardly audible, empties itself like a long thin string into 
the cell through the iron bars. 

"Oh — oh — oh!" weeps and groans the voice in the night. 

It is the sentinel singing. He listens, and his lips tremble a little. 
The melody is not very familiar to his ear, and it sounds like a 
distant song, far away from this country, sung in days of old, else- 
where, very far from this prison and this night. It is not a cap- 
tivating tune and the voice singing it also lacks charm, but you 
would call it the slow destruction of a broken tree. At the side of a 
précipice, below the muddy waves of a powerful current of water, 
a whining tree; its bare exposed roots are struck by the water, 
which pulls and tears them; the breaking up of the ice after the 
snowstorms has broken its branches one by one, and the poor 
tree, hanging over the abyss, swings back and forth, and sadly 
groans . . . and soon it will be hurle d with just one stroke into 
the river. 

"What can really be the words of that song?" the prisoner asks 
himself. And the dream goes away, while the song continues, 
sweet and humble. 

The singer doesn't dare sing any louder, he must be afraid of 
something. And the prisoner pénétrâtes still more and more into 
the song and it seems to him now that it is in him, in his heart, 
that the weeping is his distress moaning out loud, his grief, his fear 
of loneliness, his uneasiness about the future. 

105 



MAXIM GORKI 

Enthralled by the song, he falls powerless upon his bed, his face 
buried in the blanket. It is only when one remembers one's mother 
that one can sing like that, when one thinks about the sufferings of 
a mother's heart from whom her son has been taken, and when one 
thinks about the sorrow of a son who has lost his mother. 

Tearlessly and quietly a sobbing in spasms shakes his whole body, 
and, stretched ont on his bed, he gives voice to his sufîering in 
the strange melody which another is singing. 

"Mother, my mother ... I hâve done nothing . . . I am inno- 
cent! They hâve taken and imprisoned me hère . . . mother, save 
me! I am afraid . . . mother . . . my mother . . . mother . . ." 

And now he calls upon them, both of them. She, his mother, full 
of love for him; her face is wet with tears, and he clearly sees 
anguish in her eyes. He, his father, wasted away and ill, powerless 
to console his mother, for his heart is growing weaker, torn by 
unrest and the fear of the fate that awaits his child. 

In the darkness the father's and mother's gazes are fiery, they 
search, they look, their fire becomes stronger and then gradually 
dies out. . . . And this song is like the écho of the moaning of 
thèse old people over their son. 

He jumps down from the bed, rushes towards the door, and with 
his closed fists he begins banging on it, crying and begging: 

"Open up! Release me! ... I can't stand it any longer! . . . 
Hâve pity! . . . Open! . . . please!" 

At the iron bars appears a face with a heavy moustache which 
moves as a harsh voice begins scolding: 

"Well? You're beginning to make a rumpus again, are you? 
Tut, tut . . . that's not nice. Moreover you're a boy that's had 
some learning and éducation, and you should understand. It is for- 
bidden to make any noise . . ." 

"Listen to me, I beg of you . . . my mother, you must under- 
stand! I hâve a mother . . . tell that to them over there . . . let 
me go! m return . . ." 

"Heavens, it is forbidden to make any noise at nightî Why don't 
you understand that? People are sleeping — everything's asleep. . . . 
And you begin to knock and disturb the quiet. It's not al- 
lowed . . ." 

"But listen! I beg you . . ." 

"And after that they'll put you in the dungeon." 

io6 



LIFE IN A PRISON CELL 

"But please, tell them . . ." 

"That won't be of any use; this isn't the first time. You know 
that they've already answered several times: Don't listen to him. 
Fm therefore asking you right now not to make any more noise. 
It is forbidden to make any noise hère." 

And the moustache disappears. 

"Listen!" the prisoner whispers again, beseechingly pressing his 
cheek against the bars in order to see in the direction of the steps 
that are moving away. 

Ail that he gets for an answer is the even sound of boots on the 
flagstones. 

"Listen! Come back!" whispers the prisoner. "Come back, I 
beg you . . . stay near the door so that Fil be able to see you. . . ." 

Everything is quiet. You can no longer hear the mournful song 
through the window. 

A knee on the floor, the prisoner presses his head against the 
door, his fingers clinging to the thick knob. His forehead is glued 
to the iron framework, and the metallic cold spreading through 
his whole body gives him shivers. 

Now, after this outburst, he feels that in his heart has burst a 
huge abscess and that into his blood vessels is being poured a thick, 
sticky poison which is robbing him of the last of his strength. 

Silence. Only his heart is beating rapidly enough to burst. 

But now a new noise is suddenly born. It re-echoes from behind 
the wall on the left. In the next cell someone is walking back and 
forth feverishly, like a beast in a cage whose claws are creeping 
over the floor. And even the sound of thèse steps is like the 
panting of an angry deer. The prisoner raises himself, and with 
his face white with pallor, his eyes alight with great suiïering, 
staggering, he approaches the table near the bed. On the table is 
a jug of water and a vial containing some drops of ether prescribed 
yesterday by the doctor. There are still many of them. The young 
man seizes the vial with his trembling fingers . . . then, placing 
it down again, he sinks down on his bed. He feels empty now, 
and the frenzy of a little while ago already seems to him so remote, 
although only a few minutes hâve elapsed from the time he was 
making his fists black and blue against the door. 

And again anguish envelops his body and soûl, and it seems to 
him that his life is melting away in him. 

107 



MAXIM GORKI 

The lamp above the door lights up the bed, the table, and ail 
the space separating the door from the window. But opposite the 
bed, near the wall, and in the corners darkness reigns, and this 
darkness makes the spots of dampness spread out on the wall ap- 
pear to be hving. They seem to be moving. In the daytime they 
only resemble a geography map, but in the night, when you look 
steadily at them, they recall human faces, perhaps the faces of ail 
those who hâve been imprisoned in this cell. 

That could be possible. A man remains imprisoned within four 
walls for many long days, and the walls soak in his smell; so why 
wouldn't they also soak in his thoughts? And why couldn't they 
reflect his soûl? 

The soûl of man is something which is volatile. With a free 
man the soûl spreads out around on ail of life . . . while in prison 
the walls absorb the soûl of the imprisoned man . . . certainly! 
And why couldn't thèse dark spots in the plaster be the reflection 
of the soûls of the two highwaymen of Koussovo and of ail the 
other humans who were imprisoned hère? 

Thèse spots hâve nothing terrible about them, although they may 
become animated with a silent life. There they are moving, chang- 
ing form. If they could speak, they could whisper, not very 
distinctly, human words . . . But how frightful is the darkness 
beside them! That also is living, and imperceptible and deceitful at 
the same time! In it is hidden the power that dominâtes over the 
human soûl, a cruel power. One breathes it with the air. It creeps 
into the soûl like rust, and slowly, implacable, it rends it asunder. 
It absorbs the thoughts of man, and one's entire being is diluted in 
it; and although it hasn't any visible and finite form, at any moment 
it can suddenly blossom forth into something horrible, which has 
never been seen and which it is impossible to foresee. 

Without removing his eyes from the spots on the wall, the 
prisoner stretches out his hand towards the table, fînds the jug of 
water after groping, and with an abrupt gesture empties it on the 
wall. And in being poured out, the water gives the noise of fleeing, 
as if someone, frightened, were running away, with an angry 
hissing. 

The prisoner draws back, and stretches out his arms before him, 
as if he is protecting himself against an attack. The water flows 

io8 



LIFE IN A PRISON CELL 

down the length of the wall, making the spots disappear, and drop 
by drop it softly trickles down to the floor. 

"God," the man whispers, holding his head in the palms of his 
hand, "God ... I think ... I believe Fm becoming . . ." 

He doesn't dare pronounce that awful word. 

His exhausted arms hâve been battered down; powerless, they 
rest on his knees. In the grips of terror his head bubbles, violently, 
with ail kinds of shapeless ideas. He is seated on his bed, and he 
swings his body more and more, to and fro, from right to left; but 
his eyes seem to be riveted to the darkness, in which they are 
plunged. And he feels that his whole body is sinking, that he is 
being swallowed up into an abyss, which is bottomless, that he is 
slowly falling, and that there is nothing to which he can hang on. 

"God" — and his lips move incessantly. 

But suddenly conscience, with a start, gets the upper hand again. 
A vivid and piercing feeling of shame holds him back, and some- 
one in his inner conscience whispers to him: 

"It is a crime to die like this, a shame, a shame! Death is not more 
horrible, not more terrible than the agony of fear . . ." 

He gets up again, looks towards the table, seizes the vial of 
ether with a trembling hand; but it slips through his fingers, and 
breaks in the basin with a noise as sharp and as harsh as a cutting 
laugh. The smell of ether permeates the cell. 

The man bends over the basin, and frantically picks up the 
broken pièces of glass. He looks at them lying in the palm of his 
hand. His breathing is choking, his head is whirling, and an un- 
known force wants to close his eyes. This sensation increases his 
fear, and it seems to him that invisible and powerful arms are 
gradually encompassing him. His whole body quivers, and he 
walks backwards from the table to the door. Something icy is 
pursuing him, and is breathing right into his face. 

"No . . . No . . . !" he repeats, with a mad look. 

And suddenly, bringing his hand to his mouth, he abruptly snaps 
up the pièces enclosed in his palm, and begins grinding them with 
his teeth. They rip and eut away his gums, his lips, his tongue. 
Very soon his face is contracted with pain, and his mouth fills with 
warm blood and with a salty taste. He leans his head forward, and 
spits everything out together . . . blood, and pièces of glass. He 

109 



MAXIM GORKI 

can feel it oozing out from where his lips meet, and he watches 
the horrible designs being forme d on the floor by the tears which 
are burning his eyes, tears of bitterness, for he reaHzes that he is 
absolutely helpless. 

"I can't ... I can't . . ." there is a humming in his head. "I 
can't die . . . God help me!" 

And this taste of warm, salty blood in his mouth is mixing with 
the taste of acute sorrow, which is gnawing at his heart. 

But suddenly, his conscience remembers something. 

That girl, that young heroine who had purified herself by fire! 
. . . This time he rocks with joy, and challenges the darkness 
with a bitter ecstasy. He suddenly feels as if he has been regen- 
erated, and his whole body and gestures hâve regained a strange 
assurance. 

A sunny smile spreads over his whole face, and without hurry- 
ing, he approaches the table, even though he is continually spitting 
out glass and blood; he takes the basin in which the ether has 
spilled, places the footstool right near the door, and then climbs 
up on it, ail the while pouring the contents of the basin drop by 
drop over his head. Then he carefully takes down the cell lamp, 
takes ofï with a sharp little blow the glass case, which quietly falls 
on the bed, jumps down happily from the stool, and standing up 
in the middle of the room, facing the spots on the wall, facing the 
darkness, he says in a very low voice: 

"Forgive me ..." Then, lifting the lamp right over his head, 
and with a voice that is stronger and more assured, he says: "They 
will forgive!" 

The fire falls on his head as from heaven, and instantaneously en- 
velops him completely. For a second the man hésitâtes in the midst 
of the fiâmes, but then, beating the air with his two arms, he lets 
loose a shout of triumph. The blue strips of fire caress him on ail 
sides, flashing through him like serpents, and the cell is as bright 
as if it were daylight — while the spots on the wall tremble joy- 
ously. 

On the outside the irons on the door give way . . . 
But when the people penetrated into the cell, there was no 
longer anything on the ground but a mass of something black and 

IIO 



LIFE IN A PRISON CELL 

burned, which hardly resembled a human body — though it still 
moved, and groaned softly, softly. 

Thin bits of smoke ascended spirally up to the ceiling, where 
there was a thick and sufïocating mist gathered together in heavy 
volutes; then the smoke escaped through the window from the 
prison, as if it didn't want to conceal from the light of dawn either 
the crime, or the victim. 



III 



Ferme Molnar 



HEAVENLY AND EARTHLY LOVE 



The atmosphère in Budapest around the turn of the century (the 
place and time in which Ferenc Molnar grew to maturity) was one 
of perpétuai gaiety and high life. Like Vienna, Budapest during the 
last phase of the tottering Austro-Hungarian Empire was an extremely 
hospitable place to a young man of means, especially if he possessed, 
as did Molnar, wit, sophistication, and charm. Born in 1878 and edu- 
cated for the law (which he never practiced), Molnar became a 
journalist, meanwhiie enjoying ail the advantages to be derived from 
wealth and social position. His personal life was spiced with numerous 
romantic aiïairs, which along with his pranks and sparkling conver- 
sation, fed Budapest gossip for over two décades. 

Writing on a marble-topped café table, drinking and talking while 
he worked, Molnar penned short stories, novels, brief dialogues, and 
over forty stage plays. Many of his works treat affairs of the heart in 
a graceful, rarefied way; some of them, such as the short dialogue 
"Heavenly and Earthly Love," could be called objets d^arty charac- 
terized by a certain charm, polish, frivolity, and cleverness, and 
finished ofî with an ironie twist. 

Molnar's famé rests on his longer dramatic writings: he is the 
author, for instance, of Liliom, familiar to American audiences as 
the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, Carousel. Molnar also wrote 
a full-length play with the title Heavenly and Earthly Love, which 
has no relation to the story hère. Acts i, 3, 4, and 5 of the play are 
in the Théâtre Collection of the New York Public Library in type- 
script. The short dialogue below appeared in Esquire for April 1938. 

Fleeing the Nazis, Molnar came to the United States in 1940, and 
settled in New York's Plaza Hôtel where, until his death in 1952, 
he played host to a sélect group of Hungarian and international 
literati. A zestful, white-haired gentleman, he could often be seen 
strolling in the environs of Central Park South. 



EVENING. A SOFT FOGGY VAPOR SLOWLY DESCENDS UPON THE STE- 

phaniestrasse, while the lights from the distant street lanterns gHm- 

112 



HEAVENLY AND EARTHLY LOVE 

mer from out of the distance. From the city the muffled clatter of 
wagons sounds as though coming from a heavily carpeted room. 
Two gentlemen promenade upon the Stephaniestrasse in the middle 
of the carriage road where the fiacres hastily roll along on a happy, 
dusty Sunday afternoon. 

The First (giving himself crédit for being about to say some- 
thing exceptionally clever) : "I am incHned to believe that sensual 
and spiritual love among women is never equally distributed. Titian 
is right." 

The Second: "Why is Titian right?" 

The First: "Because he painted the lovely picture Heavenly and 
Earthly Love. It shows two women. The one is nothing but heav- 
enly joy and peace. The second is nothing but fleshly sensuality. It 
is thus also in life." 

(He puffs deeply upon his cigar as one who has solved a prob- 
lem. He is proud and happy.) 

The Second: "You believe that, really?" 

The First: "Yes. I cannot help it. I am a simple fellow and I love 
luxuriant women. The soulful life is beautiful, as are the pangs 
of love; y et as far as I am concerned ail such folly évaporâtes from 
my head when my lips glide over the lips of a woman. Delicately 
and hot, over a woman's lovely red mouth. At such times I feel as 
if tiny sparks of electricity were flying from one hot, dry pair of 
lips to the other." 

The Second: "Women train one." 

The First: "How so?" 

The Second: "A man may be trained for ail things. It seems 
. . . this lady . . . don't be afraid, Fm not the least inquisitive 
. . . that your lady is a sensuous being. And so you also dream of 
kisses. My lady . . . don't be afraid, I shall not be indiscreet . . . 
is very différent. I really don't know. Perhaps it is because she is 
thin; but she somehow managed to train me her way. To recognize 
spiritual tenderness and joy-bringing friendship as the real basis 
and meaning of even such sinful relationships." 

The First: "Perhaps; yes. A thin woman." 

(He résumes smoking, since once more he feels that he has solved 
^the problem upon the basis of natural science. He is well satisfied 
with himself.) 

The Second: "She is refîned and timid in love. She has beautiful 

113 



FERENC MOLNAR 

thoughts. In love, the kiss serves her only as a background for her 
lovely, délicate thoughts. You will probably think I am just stupid. 
However, I feel that it is possible to part as brother and sister even 
after an afternoon spent in the sweetest kind of intimacy. Sufïused 
with a glowing, happy peace and the quiet of an unclouded memory 
in our hearts." 

The First: "There are so many varie ties of women! When I 
leave my lady, I feel like a wild maie that goes stalking and bellovi^- 
ing through the forest because some one has torn him from the side 
of his mate. And she also leaves me as a proper female should. With 
bleeding lips, a wild longing, an amative hatred and a certain re- 
vengeful feeling in her heart. For sensuous love can never be com- 
pletely satisfied." 

(He smokes again for obvious reasons.) 

The Second: "My lady could never understand such love mak- 
ing. She should learn to hâte and despise me were I to talk in this 
fashion." 

The First: "Mine should laugh at you were she to hear you talk. 
You know that when you set out to court a woman you try any- 
thing. And so I also tried some of those soulful jests. But she 
stopped with such véhémence, that I lost ail pleasure in that sort of 
thing for ail time to come. Between us two there is never such talk. 
Kisses, kisses, embraces, burning, seething. To be aroused. To be 
insatiable! That's it!" (He smokes.) 

The Second: "It is astonishing that we two should hâve met!" 

The First: "How so?" 

The Second: "Well, because we personify the two extrêmes. 
You live the love of the blood while I live the feelings of the soûl. 
Yours is the voluptuous, aroused woman; while mine is the slender, 
pale woman." 

The First: "Well, actually my lady really is not so voluptuous." 

The Second: "And mine is not so very slender." 

The First: "Mine is rather médium. Not too fat nor too thin. 
She just appears voluptuous." 

The Second: "My lady leans towards the médium. She appears 
rather slender. Also, she is not pale, but rosy pale." 

The First: "Mine also is not exactly chubby-faced. She is rosy. 
But fiery rosy." 

114 



HEAVENLY AND EARTHLY LOVE 

The Second: "It would be great fun to bring thèse two women 
together. How would they converse with one another? I hâve 
heard of something written by a French dramatist. To go ont in a 
quarte t. To dine together!" 

The First: "That wouldn't be possible. They may be acquainted 
already." 

The Second: "You . . . The devil! How strange! Perhaps they 
really know one another?" 

The First: "Perhaps they are actually friends." 

The Second (with excitement) : "Say . . ." 

The First (already half guessing what the other would say): 
"Well?" 

The Second: "Say ... if you tell me the name of your lady, 
Fil tell you the name of mine." 

(They walk wordlessly alongside of each other for a while and 
the idea seems to please them both exceedingly. They are at présent 
contemplating whether to reveal the name of the woman in ques- 
tion would be harmless business or base roguery.) 

The First (after a long pause): "Give me your hand." 

(The Second stretches out his hand.) 

(They exchange a long manly handclasp, hard and firm, as their 
eyes meet in a strange look.) 

The First: "Frau Katharine Szabo." 

The Second: "How?" 

(His eyes stare like those of a madman.) 

The First: "Now it's your turn." 

The Second: "How? What? What did you say? What . . . 
did you say?" 

The First: "Frau . . . Katharine Szabo." 

The Second (grasps him by the arm) : "You . . ." 

The First: "Well? Well? What's the matter?" 

The Second: "That is also the name of my lady!" 

(A horrible silence.) 

The First: "Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday." 

The Second: "Monday, Wednesday and Friday." 

(Another pause.) 

The First: "And . . . Sunday?" 

The Second (with tears in his eyes): "Who knows?" 

115 



FERENC MOLNAR 

The First: "And that is your spiritual lady?" 

The Second: "Yes. The slender, pale and soulful lady. The heav- 
enly love. The timid virgin." 

The First: "And that is the voluptuous, aroused, sensuous lady. 
The earthly love. The féminine fire. The wild female." 

The Second: "I could weep." 

The First: "You feel like weeping because you hâve loved her 
as a spiritual woman. I could laugh because she has trained me the 
other way." 

(The one who wanted to weep, smiles bitterly. The one who 
wanted to laugh, makes a tragic face.) 

The Second: "What is to become of us?" 

The First: "You ask me that? We are wise, modem people and 
so we shall not kill each other. I don't know what you spiritual 
people think. We sensual men become stunned at the thought of 
another man having anything to do with our women. The matter is 
very simple. I don't need her any more." (They shake hands.) 

The Second: "We spiritual people . . . we spiritual people 
... I also don't need her any more." 

The First: "I hâve an idea." 

The Second: "Well?" 

The First: "My idea is excellent. In fact I feel as though during 
the course of my entire life I hâve not had such a good idea. Listen 
hère. This woman has so skillfully managed to make two distinctly 
différent women of herself, that it seems no more than décent and 
proper to reward her." 

The Second: "Reward her? With what? And how can we — ?" 

The First: "By both . . . as it seems proper for real gentlemen 
to do . . . accepting her conception of living. If she therefore 
desires to be two distinctly différent women, let's accept her as 
two distinctly différent personalities. Let's simply believe her. 
And . . ." 

The Second: "And ... ?" 

The First: "And ail remains as before." 

The Second (without reflection): "Good?" 

The First: "Are we agreed?" 

The Second: "Yes." 

The First: "And ne ver . . . ne ver . . . let's mention this af- 
fair between us again. In fact let's never speak of any love affair 

ii6 



HEAVENLY AND EARTHLY LOVE 

of any sort that concerns ourselves, after this. And she will also 
notice no différence in our conduct towards her. I will continue to 
be sensuous and you will lay particular stress upon the spiritual, as 
before. And we shall both live happily and contentedly. Farewell." 

The Second: "Farewell." 

(A short, rapid handclasp and they départ to the left and right. 
Both résolve within themselves to change their conduct and politics 
with the woman in order to squeeze out the other. Both hearts 
burn and on the morrow both will make a scène before the woman. 
And tomorrow the woman will throw them both out and look 
about for two others to take their place. And the woman will be in 
the right! ) 



117 



Théodore Dreiser 



THE TITHE OF THE LORD 



The favorite joke about Théodore Dreiser is that he had no talent — 
only genius. Certainly his pondérons style has produced some of the 
most notoriously graceless sentences in our classic literature (for in- 
stance, notice the dangling participle in the fîrst sentence of the story 
below); and his ideas, which shifted between determinism, commu- 
nism and mysticism, were often philosophically inconsistent to the 
point of incongruity. Yet in novels such as An American Tragedy, 
Sister Carrie, and Gennie Gerhardt, Dreiser succeeded through the 
intensity of his pity in creating characters which now seem more 
acutely central to American life than those of any other author of 
our first half-century with the exception of F. Scott Fitzgerald. 

"The Tithe of the Lord" was one of sixteen Dreiser pièces first 
published in Esqiiire. He wrote it somewhere between 1933 and 1936 
— roughiy a décade after An American Tragedy. To the typical 
Dreiser trap of instinctive necessity vs. social pressures is hère added 
a less typical dimension, arrived at through the mysticism of this 
later period — that of the demands of conscience in relation to God. 

"The Tithe of the Lord" appeared in the July 1938 issue, and is 
hère reprinted for the first time. 



SITTING THERE, COLD AND HELPLESS, ON A PARK BENCH, THE 

thought intrigued Benziger. "Suppose I do just that . . . make a 
bargain with the Lord? Supposing, hère and now, I should try to 
make such a contract? Would it work?" Would the Lord, for in- 
stance, prosper him as He had prospered his father, he who was 
now so misérable, so at odds with the world? Assuming there was 
a Lord, and that He really acted in behalf of those who, like him, 
had sinned, would He forgive him his early errors? Restore him 
to a décent social position; make him as well off as he was before? 
Would He? 

Then and there he decided he was going to try it. He was going 

118 



THE TITHE OF THE LORD 

to make a deal with God, or whoever it was that ran the world, 
)ust as he would make a deal with anyone in the business world. 
If God would help him to get over this despair so that he could 
get work and get on his feet again, he would, from then on until 
his death, dévote ten per cent of everything he should gain to help- 
ing those ivho needed help worse than he did. Furthermore, he 
would leave women alone. Or better yet, get married, and be help- 
ful — and faithful — to one woman. 

When I first met Benziger, which was some years subséquent to 
this bargain with the Lord, I knew he was the type who would fit 
this story I had heard about him, exactly. He was a little under the 
médium height and weight, dark, rather brown skin, with healthy, 
cheerful, génial eyes, good nose and attractive mouth, a most en- 
ticing and reassuring smile. His forehead was low and wide, and 
over it fell curly brown-black hair. At this time he was thirty-eight 
years of âge, neat, agreeable, assured, and very successful — the 
head of an important manufacturing unit of the American Wicker 
Furniture Trust or Combine. 

But Benziger, as anyone could see, was considerably more than a 
manufacturer of wicker furniture. Frank Kelcey, the architect, a 
close friend to both of us, who was building gay summer homes for 
a score of people on Long Island — among them Benziger, told me 
that Benziger was that rare thing, a character, a man of the world 
in business, almost an artist. Since Kelcey was sure I would like 
him, he had introduced us. 

Just the same, at first, I took his statements in regard to Benziger 
with a grain of sait. He was from Rock Island and Chicago. The 
group he represented — manufacturers, bankers, etc. — were, hère 
in the East at least, considered pretty raw socially. Yet — ^Benziger 
was différent. He swept me with an engaging, hearty smile. We 
entered into a conversation and I found he possessed imagination 
and charm as well as business ability. He appeared to hâve traveled 
a good deal — to China and India and the Malay Peninsula. Unlike 
most business-bound men, he talked almost romantically of bars 
and cafés and out-of-the-way amusements in ail of thèse lands. Be- 
fore we parted, he invited me to see his new summer home on the 
North Shore of Long Island when it was completed. 

119 



THEODORE DREISER 

But I will not go into that. It was ail pleasant — although unim- 
portant, and afterwards I invited him and his wife to my place at 
Shell Cove once or twice. 

What was more important though, was what Kelcey told me 
after Benziger was gone — that is, a month or so later. According to 
Kelcey, Benziger had had a most amazing youth. His father, a con- 
ventional, religions, rich man of Rock Island, Illinois, had been in 
the furniture business before him, and while Benziger was a boy 
had tried to interest him in the very successful plant he had there. 
But Benziger, who at that time was obviously of a playful, restless 
and somewhat erratic nature, was not interested in what he consid- 
ered such a prosaic enterprise. So, without consulting his father, 
he finally left home for Chicago — a move which caused considér- 
able feeling between them. He did well enough, and presently got 
a position with a broker on the Chicago Board of Trade. Pretty 
soon he joined several clubs — also became acquainted with a young 
North Side social group. 

Inside of two years, and without much, if any, exchange of let- 
ters or visits between him and his father, he married a girl of con- 
sidérable means and social position and thereafter appeared to be 
established and as devoted to her as she was to him. According to 
things which Kelcey had learned, the wife, Rhoda, was not as 
clever as Benziger, but truly beautiful, slight, blonde, witty and 
afïectionate. They had numerous friends and were considered to be 
substantial members of their community and gay as well as smart. 

Then, at the end of the third year of Benziger's marriage, his 
young wife committed suicide! 

"Would you think," Kelcey asked of me, "after visiting and talk- 
ing with Benziger, that he was the sole surviving remuant of a mar- 
riage tragedy?" 

"I would not," I replied. 

"Just the same," said Kelcey, "he is." 

And then, because I was really interested, he furnished the fol- 
lowing détails of the tragedy which astonished me as it startled 
Chicago, and more so the Benziger social set, because there was no 
évidence that such a thing was likely to occur. 

Not more than six months before his wife's death, the Benzigers 
had been introduced to a young, well-to-do and clever married 
couple named Ellis, from Wisconsin. The husband, Calvin EUis, 

I20 



THE TITHE OF THE LORD 

was a young engineer connected with a Chicago construction Com- 
pany. His wife's name was Olive. 

The four of them became fast friends and went about every- 
where together. 

Olive, while more sensual than Rhoda, and perhaps a little more 
attractive, was not younger or gayer. She was différent, dark and 
a little sly perhaps — whereas Mrs. Benziger, Rhoda, was open and 
confiding, and terribly, yet by no means selfishly, devoted to Ben- 
ziger. In fact, she made it a point not to keep any strings or tabs on 
him — merely to love him, as he insisted always that he loved her. 

Olive EUis had a strong magnetism or hypnotism, and yet, ac- 
cording to ail reports, she was anything but the brash forward type. 
Instead, she was rather aloof and evasive. But there was that com- 
pelling allure of her tempérament — ail the more so because she 
appeared not to follow anyone. In fact until she met Benziger, 
she was apparently devoted to her husband — wholly so. 

Then the tragedy, of which Kelcey had heard so much! 

*'I don't know how you size him up, Mr. Lamborn," he said to 
me, "but Benziger appears to be a fine and able man. He loves 
pleasure, of course, but he is a good business man too, and treats 
his employées well — he even has a profit-sharing System and of 
course you hâve met his présent wife?" 

"She seems to be a very sensible as well as a beautiful young 
woman," I interpolated. 

"And I suppose you know about the baby boy theyVe adopted?" 

"Yes. He talked to him over the Long Distance while I was visit- 
ing him." 

"He is genuinely devoted to the child and to his wife also," said 
Kelcey. 

"Rose, this time," I commented. 

"Yes, Rose, that's her name. The daughter of a wealthy Chicago 
grain merchant. Really nice woman, isn't she?" 

"Very," I said. "I imagine he must hâve thought, after that first 
afïair of his, that a healthy, sober, home-loving and not too roman- 
tic girl was the best for him." 

"I guess that's right too," agreed Kelcey. "Only, in connection 
with that Rhoda-Olive afïair, it appears that Olive fell in love with 
Benziger first — not he with her. She was one of those compHcated 
beauties from whom you never know what to expect. At least so 

121 



THEODORE DREISER 

the papers indicated. At any rate, she either secretly or openly en- 
ticed Benziger. According to his confession at the trial, he was an 
easy victim. What he said he felt at that time (it was in ail the 
Chicago papers when I lived there) was that love to him was not the 
intense thing which his wife Rhoda took it to be. He loved her, of 
course, but not the life-and-death way that gripped her. 

*'Besides, as he said, Rhoda was too sweet and libéral and gay to 
check him up enough. The thing in particular that deceived him in 
connection with his wife was that she ne ver appeared to be jealous. 
As he mournfully confessed to the world, she was probably so in- 
fatuated with him that she was anxious to appear to agrée with his 
light variable views on life and love without actually doing so. 
She did not want to appear to hold him and still she did want to be 
exclusively happy with him. And that was why he grieved so much 
afterwards as he says. At any rate, neither he nor she anticipated 
any such dread disaster as that which foUowed Olive's arrivai on 
the scène. 

"According to Benziger," went on Kelcey, who largely talked 
this story to me as I am telling it, *' Olive was not essentially cruel 
either. She had some fantastic notion, based on her conception of 
her own beauty and charm I suppose, that she could conquer Ben- 
ziger and continue to live with Ellis. Ellis cared for her very much, 
so much indeed, that he was willing to make allowances, as he ac- 
tually stated to the newspaper reporters at the time. He was, as he 
publicly declared, no narrow-moralist. People were people and 
couldn't always be good — particularly women. Anyhow, he loved 
Olive, admired Benziger and Rhoda immensely and felt sure that 
Benziger and Olive contemplated no enduring change. He added, 
he felt sufEciently sure of Olive and her affection for him to feel 
that she would come back to him, just as Benziger would go back 
to Rhoda. And should Olive come back (as she did of course) he 
would forgive her as he actually did. 

"In the case of Benziger, before the tragedy, he had even gone so 
far as to say, jestingly, to Ellis, that if he did not look out he would 
take his wife away from him, and Ellis had answered, *Well, I 
doubt it. I would hâve to see it first to believe it.' They were as 
good friends as that." 

"Pretty up-to-date friends," I commented. 

"Fil say," went on Kelcey. "Anyhow, what really happened was 

122 



THE TITHE OF THE LORD 

that when Rhoda came home to their apartment from some affair 
one afternoon, she found Benziger and Olive in a semi-compromis- 
ing position. According to the newspapers at the time, ail Rhoda 
said on seeing them was 'oh/ and then, 'I believe I had better go.' 
At that she turned and left the room. Of course Olive went at once 
and Benziger started to look for his wife. When he reached her 
room, however, it was locked. By the time he got in she had already 
taken poison and was dying. She was dead before any doctor could 
reach her." 

"So he's the man," I said, remembering reading about the affair 
at the time. 

"Yes, he's the man. But what I am getting to in connection with 
him, Mr. Lamborn, is something very différent. He may tell you 
this himself some day when you come to know him better, because 
I think he likes to talk about it. It's the finer side of him. 

"But quite naturally, right after the suicide of his wife he was 
ail broken up. His business and social friends avoided him and 
he resigned from ail his clubs. His father, instead of coming to his 
aid, wrote him a condemnatory letter and deplored his career. 

"As for himself, as he told me, he was ail shot to pièces, hardly 
knew which way to turn, because, while still loving Rhoda, he felt 
that he had committed an enormous, and of course irréparable, 
wrong, which was certain to follow and wreck him everywhere. 
Chicago was through with him, his father, father-in-law — ail who 
had known him in the past; so instead of pulling himself together 
and going to work, he went drifting about the country, drinking 
and gambling, until he was broke and became sick. Finally he got so 
low that he was sleeping in the parks, bumming his way on trains — 
anything to get rid of brooding over what had befallen Rhoda, 
Olive, Ellis and himself." 

"I can understand it," I agreed sympathetically. 

"And I!" emphasized Kelcey. "But what interests me still more 
is his comeback." 

"Let's hâve that," I said. 

"Well, hère it is," said Kelcey. "As he was sitting in a park one 
winter morning in Détroit, without a job and hungry, cold, he 
started to reflect on his life so far. Up to that time, he said (and this 
was ail of two years later after his wife's suicide), he had never 
troubled to think of himself as a failure who might come back — 

123 



THEODORE DREISER 

but rather as a f ailure who couldn't. He was down. He was through 
— and that was the end of it. 

"However, at that time, one night when he was lying in a ten- 
cent flop house, a crazy religionist invaded the place and began 
distributing a tract or leaflet. Benziger said he was half drunk and 
half sleeping at that time, but just the same he could see the reli- 
gionist — tall and thin and angular and consumptive, with long dirty 
hair and hands, stopping about and handing out those leaflets, or 
laying them on the cots or bodies of those sleeping. Finally he 
handed Benziger one, and the next morning Benziger noted that it 
read 'Turn Ye — Repent.' According to him, he was not much in- 
terested, because the man who had distributed the tract was a bum 
himself. But, just before crumpling the leaflet up and throwing it 
away Benziger reread that one Hne at the top, 'Turn Ye — Repent.' 

"Then two days later when he was much more sober and colder, 
and about at the end of his tether, and sitting in this park, having 
no money to get a cot or anything to eat, Benziger had begun think- 
ing of this man and then, because his father had always been ex- 
tremely religious — of him. His father was a hard-boiled Calvinist 
and believed in prédestination. But also, and in spite of his belief 
in prédestination, in free will. That is, he argued that although a 
man was pre destine d to do evil, still in some strange way, which 
he never troubled to explain, he could and should do good, too: a 
paradox which had always made Benziger laugh. 

"At any rate, since he found the tract in his pocket and was so 
low in his mind, he turned the thing over and studied it. Then be- 
cause his father had once used the words *Turn Ye — Repent' in 
connection with something, he quite suddenly began to think of 
another phase or peculiarity of his father, whose custom it had been 
for years to dévote ten per cent of ail that he earned to the further- 
ance of what he called the Lord's work. 

"According to Benziger, his father called this The Tithe of the 
Lord, and maintained that anyone who made such an agreement 
with God, and thereafter faithfuUy fulfiUed it, and also led a décent 
moral life, would most certainly prosper as he himself had pros- 
pered. God would make him prosper. 

"Strangely enough, Benziger himself had never coupled 'sinning 
with women' as anything but natural. But now that he was so low 

124 



THE TITHE OF THE LORD 

he began to think of his illicit relationship with Olive Ellis, since 
with her he had brought about Rhoda's death. Perhaps after ail 
there was evil in it. Maybe his father was right. 

"Anyway, sitting there shivering and hungering in the park that 
cold morning, this thought led him to go over his own life to see 
whether he had really committed a great evil, or whether he had 
just been young and foolish and unintentionally bad. And eventu- 
ally he decided that he had not been so much evil as just foolish. 
For instance, he said to himself, if he had really known how deeply 
Rhoda cared for him, hov^ much he really meant to her, and that 
the sight of him in another woman's arms could hâve proved so 
fateful, he would not hâve so lightly and foolishly betrayed her in 
their own apartment. 

"His mind having gone this far, he next turned not only to the 
line, 'Turn Ye — Repent' but to that contract which his father in- 
sisted that he had made with the Lord. And then he said to him- 
self, 'Supposing hère and now I should try to make such a contract? 
Would it really work?' Sitting there cold and hopeless on a park 
bench the thought intrigued him. 'Might it not be so? Who could 
say?' His father was successful and scornful of such a life as his. 
'Turn Ye — Repent . . . Turn Ye — Repent.' The words, he said, 
rang in his ears, just as though someone were talking to him — nudg- 
ing at his elbow — 'Turn Ye — Repent.' Even the bum who had 
handed him the tract began to take on the look of an emissary. 

"But supposing, he asked himself, he did just that — made a bar- 
gain with the Lord — his father's God — not his really up to now 
— then what? Would He help him now at this particular point in 
his life when he was so misérable? So at odds with the world? 
Would the Lord, for instance, prosper him as He had prospered his 
father, he who was now so misérable, so at odds with the world. 
Assuming there was a Lord and that He really acted in the behalf 
of those who, like him, had sinned, would He for instance, forgive 
him his early error? Restore him to a décent social position, and 
make him as well ofï as he was before? Would He? 

" 'Well,' he said to himself, 'I might try it.' 

"So, there and then, this he swore to do. Having done so, he 
got up and was about to go somewhere to see if he could wash his 
hands and face and beg a little money in order to get breakfast, 

125 



THEODORE DREISER 

and then look for work, when just as he started, there came through 
the misty, cold Détroit morning, a man with a basket in which were 
sandwiches and coffee. 

"This was as early as fivt o'clock in the morning, and when the 
man, a rather clean youngish type, of about thirty-five, dressed in 
a good suit and overcoat, reached Benziger, he stopped and said, 
'Brother, will you hâve some coffee and a sandwich? It must be 
cold ont hère. It won't cost you a cent. You are welcome to it in the 
name of the Lord.' 

"Benziger told me, he was so astonished and taken aback by this 
sudden appearance, a man speaking in the name of the Lord he 
had just agreed to deal with, that he could scarcely speak. He took 
the sandwich and the coffee, thanked the man and started eating 
and drinking. Meantime the man disappeared. Yet, once the man 
was gone, Benziger was not so much convinced of a miracle of 
any kind as he was puzzled and perhaps a little superstitions, at 
least superstitions enough to believe that his oath might hâve had 
something to do with it. Perhaps — who could say? Was this really 
the first move or gesture on the part of the Lord in connection with 
that ofîer he had made? A sign, for instance, that the Lord had 
heard and was making the first move? 

"Having consumed the food, he did as he planned before — got 
up, walked to some part of the city where he could clean himself 
as much as possible. He then went to look for work, deciding to 
take anything — dish-washing, cleaning, ditch-digging, just so long 
as it was work, and got a little money. It meant food, a bed, a shave, 
a better suit of clothes. Since he understood bookkeeping and clerk- 
ing he might find some work in this field later. Once he got really 
started on a comeback he might look into the wicker furniture 
business and maybe get interested in that as his father had wanted 
him to. And might not the great business his father had built now 
prove a door through which he could return and succeed? He 
might even go back to his father and confess everything, and work 
hard for him, and so bring about a reconciliation between them. 
Flowever, he never did that. Rather he decided to wait until he 
himself was thoroughly successful. 

"He did get work, almost immediately, as a dish-washer, later 
as a waiter and then as a clerk in a brokerage house. Shortly after- 
wards he secured a minor position with a Détroit wickerware furni- 

126 



THE TITHE OF THE LORD 

ture Company. Hère he set out to study the business and advance 
himself. After two years he became superintendent of a department 
and later assistant to the gênerai manager. It was not till then that he 
returned to his father and made peace with him, although he did 
not go into the business there with his father. Instead, he waited 
until he was very successful in the wickerware trust or combine 
before he persuaded his father — who was quite old then — to join 
up with it. 

"Then after he had made his peace with his father, he said that 
he was seized with the désire to return to Chicago and there restore 
himself to a real position in the city from which some twelve years 
before he had been so summarily dismissed. And so it was that he 
joined and later bought into the Chicago General Wickerware 
Manufacturing Company, eventually to become one of the prin- 
cipal units of the American Wickerware Company. In Chicago 
he also met his présent wif e — Rose — after eight years of individual 
struggle — and married her." 

"So that's his story is it?" I said. 

"Yes, that's the story," said Kelcey. "She was the daughter of 
a grain merchant in Chicago, a member of an excellent family. 
After two or three years of marriage it turned out that she could 
not hâve a child so they agreed to adopt a son — the one you heard 
him caHing up when you were out at his place." 

"In short — a modem version of the prodigal son," I said. 

"Something hke it," said Kelcey. 

Despite my cynical doubts about this so called "bargain" I took a 
real liking to Benziger and we became fairly close friends. So per- 
haps it was natural that after a while he should himself tell me about 
the same story Kelcey had. But he told it less dramatically, much 
more conservatively, than had Kelcey, and with not the least trace 
of vanity, nor yet of false modesty. 

He was now a man of real power in the Wickerware Trust — 
one of the truly dynamic figures in it. Not only that, but he trav- 
eled a great deal. So much so, that I saw very little of him. For one 
thing, the shipping interests with which I was identifie d required 
my removal to London, and later, for a period of at least three 
years, to Calcutta. It was only after some ten years of moving 
about that my wife and I finally settled down again in our home 
at Shell Cove. In the meantime as I had read in our American 

127 



THEODORE DREISER 

papers, there had developed some trouble between the American 
Wickerware Trust and the Government. 

Still later, I read that the Wickerware Trust had been ordered to 
dissolve and that each manufacturing unit must be conducted in- 
dependently of the others. Benziger's unit, I gathered, was his 
old Chicago unit, and I assumed that he would live there. Then 
after that I read of some financial difficulties vi^hich appeared to in- 
volve Benziger's Chicago business and that it was placed in the 
hands of a receiver. 

Some two years later I heard that Benziger was dead, but just 
what it was that had brought ail this about I could not guess. Yet, 
I was stirred by the recollection of his contract with the Lord and 
wondered how it had ail worked out — whether he had faithfuUy 
lived up to it. 

It was not until a year or two after that, when I met Winston 
Henneberry, a Chicago banker, who had known Benziger for 
years, that I learned what had really happened in those later years 
of Benziger's strange life. 

"Oh, so you knew him?" commented Henneberry. 

"Well, by no means intimately," I explained, and recited my 
contacts with Benziger and a mère suggestion of Kelcey's story. 

"One of the strangest and yet really able and charming men I 
hâve ever known out hère. As big a success and failure as we hâve 
ever had hère," said Henneberry. 

"Indeed?" 

"Yes," said Henneberry, who in the main was your typical con- 
servative, cautions, semi-religious banker. Obviously, as I could see, 
he had liked Benziger very much personally, and yet was troubled 
by nearly ail that he knew of him. "l'm still puzzled about that pact 
of his with the Lord," he said. 

"Myself also," I said. "That is really what I wanted to talk to 
you about. What happened to him in connection with that, if any- 
thing?" 

"Well, there îs a story. At least there's something about the whole 
thing that puzzles me to this day. You know he died quite as broke 
as he was that first time he left Chicago after his first wife killed 
herself." 

"No!" 

"And not only that, but under almost the same circumstances. 

128 



THE TITHE OF THE LORD 

That is, he dropped everything, his wife, that adopted boy of his, 
Chicago, his friends, his business, and apparently he began drinking 
and tramping. He was broke when he left hère — in trouble with 
his old friends and business associâtes. And ail on account of a 
woman — or maybe two women or more. But the gênerai impression 
out hère is that it was a girl he kept in the background hère for a 
long time." 

"A sort of Rhoda and Olive complex," I ventured. 

"Possibly. Fm not sure. The thing that has always interested me 
though is that his second success in life should hâve ended as the 
first one did." 

"In precisely the same way you say?" 

"Well, not exactly, of course, no. The second Mrs. Benziger is 
still hère, but pretty much depressed, for she cared for him quite 
as much as did his first wife, I am sure. 

"As I look at it, while unquestionably he was a good business 
man and primarily désirons of being one, he was also something of 
a romanticist, a fellow who didn't really care for hard and fast busi- 
ness at ail. He was very vivid and attractive. Young and attractive 
women were always drawn to him. He had what my wife calls a 
winsome smile, and he and his wife were invited everywhere. And 
always, until the last four or five years of his life anyway, he ap- 
peared with his wife. 

"After that it was différent. He began to neglect her. Before that 
though he had begun to take *solitary' business trips or vacations, 
some of them lasting several months. But that wasn't good for his 
commercial afïairs. His business associâtes didn't like it. Inciden- 
tally, a friend of mine in Chicago saw Benziger on a boat running 
between Alarseilles and Singapore, at a time when Benziger was 
supposedly alone on some business matters. With Benziger was a 
very attractive young woman. Insofar as this friend could see, out- 
side of fréquent walks around the decks or dining at her table there 
was nothing wrong. However, the two disappeared at Singapore, 
and not so long after that Benziger was back in Chicago." 

"One swallow doesn't make a summer," I said. 

"No, but there was still something more," went on Henneberry. 
Like Kelcey before him, he seemed to me to be talking in order to 
solve something for himself. "Because of that pact with the Lord, 
Benziger always appeared to me to be more than anxious to share 

129 



THEODORE DREISER 

what he made with a lot of people, his employées, the poor, the 
charities, and new and différent kinds of relief organizations, which 
he either devised or sponsored. 

"And thèse charities were différent: much more personal to him. 
For one thing, not long after he was fairly successful again, he 
set up an early morning coffee and sandwich relief tour of ail 
Chicago Parks and loafing places of the down-and-outs. But there 
was never any public ostentation in connection with it. He never 
spoke of it, and it wasn't written up in the newspapers, nor any 
mention made of it except in private among his personal friends. 
Some West Side restaurant man with whom he dealt conducted 
the whole thing for him and at the end of the year Benziger footed 
the bill. I know because our bank handled the checks. 

"Furthermore, without using his own name in any way, he built, 
about fifteen years before he died, a bum's roost or lodging house 
in the poorest district of the West Side, yet really a very fine one, 
the best I hâve ever seen anywhere. That cost him to my positive 
knowledge, over $300,000. It was equipped with e very thing that 
could reasonably contribute to the comfort and sanitation of the 
men who roosted there. It could house nearly three hundred men 
a night and the price per night was only fifteen cents. For that, 
they got a good clean bed, a shower, with clean towels, a night- 
shirt that was washed every day, and a morning paper in the morn- 
ing so that they could look over the want ads. Not only that but a 
breakfast could be gotten for ten cents and a dinner for fifteen 
cents, and even as little as a dime. 

"I went over the place with him after it was completed and 
must say that I never saw a more handsome, cleanly, or conven- 
iently arranged building. At that time, as I recall it, he said to me 
that he knew what it was to be without a place to sleep or some- 
thing to eat, and he wanted others in that condition to get a better 
deal than he had had. It was that sort of thing that made him very 
popular around Chicago with a lot of people." 

"That agreement of his with the Lord," I said. 

"Oh yes, I suppose so," replied Henneberry. "Only, and now I 
don't know whether there is anything to what I am going to say 
or not, but it is a little curions to me that not so long after I began, 
among others, to notice those trips of his (perhaps a year or so after 
I heard the story about the girl on the Marseilles-Singapore boat) 

130 



THE TITHE OF THE LORD 

that the troubles of the Wickerware Trust with the Government 
began. 

"Now, don't think Vm superstitions — Fm just commenting on 
it as a fact — nothing more. As you may recall, it was charged at 
that time, that the Trust was indulging in unfair compétition 
wrecking rival iirms and the like. And while Benziger was not the 
head of the Trust, still he was a dominant figure in the directorate. 
Naturally, I wondered about thèse charges in connection with his 
pact and in the midst of it ail he came and talked to me about it. He 
said, as I recall, that while they were ugly charges and were a reflec- 
tion on him and looked serions, nevertheless if there had been any 
unfair compétition thus far, he personally had had nothing to do 
with it; also that he was going to look into the matter, and if there 
were things which he could control, he was going to put a stop 
to them or gtt out. 

"Just the same, some bad practices were actually proved and 
the Trust dissolved, and he didn't get out. Just why, I don't know. 
I think his excuse was that he had to stay to straighten things out — 
or that he couldn't get out without a great loss to himself and 
others, which may hâve been true enough. At any rate, he didn't. 

*'But there was that other thing, his running around with those 
women, at that very time. His wife told me so afterwards." 

"Odd," I said. 

"But by then," went on Henneberry very solemnly as I thought 
— almost religiously even, "he was not the same man he had been 
before he began to neglect his wife. He looked older and was less 
enthusiastic, often talked and acted as though life wasn't as interest- 
ing to him any longer. Also there seemed a very large amount of 
Personal expenses which Benziger had to foot and some commercial 
disarrangements which seemed to aiîect his personal interests. ï 
know for one thing that at about that time he had to borrow a lot 
of money, six hundred thousand dollars. Also that not only fully 
three-quarters of his trust certificates, but most of his private prop- 
erty, wxre already hypothecated. 

"Then worst of ail, toward the last, he had even to eut out his 
contributions to those varions Chicago charities, excluding of 
course those two I hâve mentioned as being his own. 

"At any rate, just at the time of the proposed indictment, and 
with his wife still hère with his adopted son, he left Chicago. It was 

131 



THEODORE DREISER 

whispered by some that he had gone to some island in the South 
Seas with a giri, but whether that is so or not I can't say. Fortu- 
nately his wife had some property of her own, her father's, and 
that couldn't be touched. So she and the boy moved into her father's 
old house on the North Side. Then two years later she got a wire 
from a hospital in Denver. Benziger was there sick and he died 
only a few days after she got there. But there were some things 
he wanted to tell her. He told her he had deceived her long before 
she knew it, but that he had cared for her and was sorry, only 
that he hadn't been able to live up to the pact the way he hoped he 
could, and so — " 

"Notreally?" 

'Tes." 

"He admitted that himself?" 

"His wife said so to me." 

I paused to think about it and as I did so Henneberry went on 
with this: 

"Alonzo Carlson, one of our Vice-Présidents, used to argue in 
connection with Benziger, after his death of course, that it was the 
early influence of his father, together with his memory of him, 
which over-emphasized for him that first great social smash of his. 
Also that being over-kindhearted and playful, the suicide of his 
young wife pulled him down more than it should hâve; caused him 
to feel guilty and regretful and so to react toward this severe com- 
mercial life, which after ail, he did not like. Also that finally it 
proved too much for him — a strain — and so he broke again. At any 
rate, there was that agreement ivith God, which, according to his 
own confession, hung over him." 

"He made it when he was down and out, you see," I interrupted, 
"and the subséquent success which came to him he probably iden- 
tified with that. Also he probably hooked his success up with the 
necessity of making good in the way that he had agreed to make 
good — that is, not only by giving ten per cent of ail he earned, but 
by leading the better kind of life which made such a success as his 
possible. And when he didn't succeed in keeping it up he broke." 

"Precisely, but it is a fact that somehow ail of thèse things seemed 
to come rather quickly together — his going away on those trips, the 
Trust's poHcies toward others, and his big losses generally." 

"In other words, the Lord struck quick, eh?" 

132 



THE TITHE OF THE LORD 

"Well," said Henneberry, "it is true that when he returned from 
that Singapore trip, which was the first one I heard of, he looked 
différent — acted that way, and Fm satisfied that he was unhappy 
within himself . In fact, whether anybody knew anything or not, he 
may hâve felt that his moral derehctions were being charged up to 
him. I don't know of course, but it was about that time that those 
several things in connection with his business troubles started." 

*'You seem to make out a pretty fair case," I said. 

*'Not me, Fm merely telling you what I know. Only there is one 
other interesting thing. After his death his wife wired me and I had 
the body brought back to Chicago where it was placed in her f amily 
plot, alongside of her father. Then I went over every thing that had 
to be gone over, and among the différent things was that lodging 
house which she couldn't carry any more and that coffee and 
sandwich charity. It was only then that I discovered that for over a 
year after his disappearance and three years before his death, he 
had neglected financing not only the lodging house which he prized 
so highly, but also that sandwich and coffee service. Only Rose, 
knowing how close that had been to his heart, and caring for him so 
much, had supported both from money left her by her father, until 
after his death she couldn't do it any longer." 

^'Beautiful," I said. 

"The Tithe of the Lord," added Henneberry. 

"His wife firmly believed that his failure to keep that agreement 
was at the bottom of ail his troubles. She said she first began to 
fear for him in connection with that when she realized how seri- 
ously he took his pact during the first years of their marriage. After- 
wards, she said, particularly when they grew so successful, he began 
to become more worldly again. He Hked to drink, gamble, club 
about a good deal. Then, of course, there were those trips, princi- 
pally at first with men, she was sure, ofiicials of the Trust. After- 
wards some woman or women, and then — " 

"Wifely interest, I fear," I said. 

"Possibly — and yet Rose is certainly a very kind and gênerons 
person and loved him very much." 

"Ail the more reason," I said. 

" — at any rate," he went on, "while I am not a member of any 
faith, I do believe in a God and in His control in some mysterious 
way of the affairs of this world. While I cannot personally say 

133 



THEODORE DREISER 

whether Benziger deliberately broke this agreement or whether 
the breaking of it was, as you seem to think, forced upon him, I 
still believe if he did break it and did believe deeply in the signifi- 
cance of it, it is probable that it might hâve afîected him in some 
way." 

"Benziger was not a religions man," I interpolated, "but when 
he was down and ont and suddenly thought of his religions father, 
he thought he would investigate this mysterious Thing and give it 
a trial and then and there made that agreement. When things began 
to happen coincidentally with the agreement, of course, he did not 
know what to make of it, but he couldn't help having a superstitions 
feeling that the agreement he made had something to do with it. 

"Naturally when a person makes such an agreement he is skep- 
tical and yet does not know what will happen if it is broken. He 
cannot help but feel afraid and perhaps become haunted by his 
own conscience. For, in a way, an agreement like this is really an 
agreement with your conscience. When he found that he could not 
live up to this pact, his mind was trouble d with it, for his conscience 
must hâve always been whispering to him about it and this, after a 
slip or two on his part, due to an overwhelming désire for another 
type of life, led no doubt to his drinking and slipping further." 

"You may be right," said Henneberry. 

"While he did not very much believe there was a God," I added, 
"he kept fulfilling his agreement, just in the event there should be 
one, and of course his conscience was clear as long as he did. But 
not being sure of this mysterious Thing, as soon as he stopped ful- 
iilling the agreement he was haunted by the whispering of his con- 
science." 

"In other words," said Henneberry, "you are not a religious 
man." 

"Not in the accepted sensé of the words, no." 

"Well, ï am," he said. "You call it conscience but to me con- 
science is God, or the only thing we know of as God, our guide. 
And when we go against that, we go against Him." 

"So be it," I said. "And it may be that both of us are talking of 
one and the same power." 

"I think we are," he said. 



134 



Ernest Hcmimway 



THE BUTTERFLY AND THE TANK 



Beginning in the first issue — Autumn 1933 — Ernest Hemingway 
was a regular contributor to Esquive. In ail, he contributed some 
34 pièces. Most of thèse are his regular monthly "letters" — from 
Cuba, Spain, Tanganyika, Key West, Paris, Bimini and New York. 
Many of thèse letters contain material which he later reworked in 
books and novels. The famous essay "On the Blue Water: A Gulf 
Stream Letter" (April 1936), for instance, contains a 178-word 
anecdote which was the "germ" of The Old Man and The Sea. 

Many of Hemingway's most anthologized stories appeared first in 
Esquive: "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" (with Scott Fitzgerald named 
instead of "Julian"), and "The Capital of the World" (which ap- 
peared in the magazine as "The Horns of the Bull"). 

During the Spanish Civil War, Ernest Hemingway raised $40,000 
on his Personal notes to buy ambulances for the Loyalists in Madrid. 
To pay ofï this debt he made several trips to Spain as a correspondent 
for the North American Newspaper Alliance. He was there through- 
out most of the year 1937, writing and reporting, and also working 
on the film The Spanish Eavth. He did not contribute to Esquive 
during 1937 (his last contribution had been "Snows" — in August 
1936), but beginning in November of 1938, there appeared the first 
of three stories about Chicote's bar in Madrid (still a flourishing 
café there, attracting artists and théâtre people) during the siège of 
Madrid. The first of thèse, "The Denunciation," appeared in 
November 1938; the second, "The Butterfly and the Tank," in 
December. There was then a lapse of a month before the longest 
and most fuUy sustained, "Night Before Battle," appeared in February 
of 1939. On August 23, Arnold Gingrich had wired Hemingway at 
the L Bar T Ranch in Cody, Wyoming: Sending check fov $1800 
Bavclay today. Would like thivd Chicotes stovy by ail means. Hâte 
to he insistent^ but spot fov this issue has been held open and hope 
y ou can fill it. Feel gvand — got stovies again. 

"The Butterfly and the Tank" is reprinted hère for the first time. 

135 



ERNEST HEMINGWAY 
ON THIS EVENING I WAS WALKING HOME FROM THE CENSORSHIP 

office to the Florida Hôtel and it was raining. So about halfway 
home I got sick of the rain and stopped into Chicote's for a quick 
one. It was the second winter of sheUing in the siège of Madrid and 
everything was short including tobacco and people's tempers and 
you were a Httle hungry ail the time and would become suddenly 
and unreasonably irritated at things you could do nothing about 
such as the weather. I should hâve gone on home. It was only five 
blocks more, but when I saw Chicote's doorway I thought I would 
get a quick one and then do those six blocks up the Gran Via 
through the mud and rubble of the streets broken by the bombard- 
ment. 

The place was crowded. You couldn't get near the bar and ail 
the tables were full. It was full of smoke, singing, men in uniform, 
and the smell of wet leather coats, and they were handing drinks 
over a crowd that was three deep at the bar. 

A waiter I knew f ound a chair f rom another table and I sat down 
with a thin, white-faced, Adam's-appled German I knew who was 
working at the censorship and two other people I did not know. 
The table was in the middle of the room a little on your right as 
you go in. 

You couldn't hear yourself talk for the singing and I ordered a 
gin and angostura and put it down against the rain. The place 
was really packed and everybody was very joUy; maybe getting 
just a little bit too jolly from the newly made Catalan liquor most 
of them were drinking. A couple of people I did not know slapped 
me on the back and when the girl at our table said something to me,, 
I couldn't hear it and said, "Sure." 

She was pretty terrible looking now I had stopped looking 
around and was looking at our table; really pretty terrible. But it 
turned out, when the waiter came, that what she had asked me was 
to hâve a drink. The fellow with her was not very forceful looking 
but she was forceful enough for both of them. She had one of those 
strong, semi-classical faces and was built like a lion tamer; and the 
boy with her looked as though he ought to be wearing an old 
school tie. He wasn't though. He was wearing a leather coat just 
like ail the rest of us. Only it wasn't wet because they had been 
there since before the rain started. She had on a leather coat too and 
it was becoming to the sort of face she had. 

136 



THE BUTTERFLY AND THE TANK 

By this time I was wishing I had not stopped into Chicote's but 
had gone straight on home where you could change your clothes 
and be dry and hâve a drink in comfort on the bed with your feet 
up, and I was tired of looking at both of thèse young people. Life 
is very short and ugly women are very long and sitting there at the 
table I decided that even though I was a writer and supposed to 
hâve an insatiable curiosity about ail sorts of people, I did not really 
care to know whether thèse two were married, or what they saw 
in each other, or what their politics were, or whether he had a little 
money, or she had a little money, or anything about them. I de- 
cided they must be in the radio. Any time you saw really strange 
looking civilians in Madrid they were always in the radio. So to 
say something I raised my voice above the noise and asked, "You 
in the radio?" 

"We are," the girl said. So that was that. They were in the radio. 

"How are you Comrade?" I said to the German. 

"Fine. And you?" 

"Wet," I said, and he laughed with his head on one side. 

"You haven't got a cigarette?" he asked. I handed him my next 
to the last pack of cigarettes and he took two. The forceful girl 
took two and the young man with the old school tie face took one. 

"Take another," I shouted. 

"No thanks," he answered and the German took it instead. 

"Do you mind?" he smiled. 

"Of course not," I said. I really minded and he knew it. But he 
wanted the cigarettes so badly that it did not matter. The singing 
had died down momentarily, or there was a break in it as there is 
sometimes in a storm, and we could ail hear what we said. 

"You been hère long?" the forceful girl asked me. She pro- 
nounced it bean as in bean soup. 

"Off and on," I said. 

"We must hâve a serions talk," the German said. "I want to hâve 
a talk with you, When can we hâve it? " 

"Fil call you up," I said. This German was a very strange Ger- 
man indeed and none of the good Germans liked him. He lived 
under the delusion that he could play the piano, but if you kept 
him away from pianos he was ail right unless he was expose d to 
liquor, or the opportunity to gossip, and nobody had even been 
able to keep him away from those two things yet. 

137 



ERNEST HEMINGWAY 

Gossip was the best thing he did and he always knew something 
new and highly discreditable about anyone you could mention in 
Madrid, Valencia, Barcelona, and other political centers. 

Just then the singing really started in again, and you cannot gossip 
very well shouting, so it looked like a dull afternoon at Chicote's 
and I decided to leave as soon as I should hâve bought a round 
myself. 

Just then it started. A civilian in a brown suit, a white shirt, black 
tie, his hair brushed straight back from a rather high forehead, 
who had been clowning around from table to table, squirted one 
of the waiters with a Ait gun. Everybody laughed except the waiter 
who was carrying a tray full of drinks at the time. He was indig- 
nant. 

^'No hay derechOy^ the waiter said. This means, "You hâve no 
right to do that," and is the simplest and the strongest protest in 
Spain. 

The Ait gun man, delighted with his success, and not seeming to 
give any importance to the fact that it was weli into the second 
year of the war, that he was in a city under siège where everyone 
was under a strain, and that he was one of only four men in civilian 
clothes in the place, now squirted another waiter. 

I looked around for a place to duck to. This waiter, also, was in- 
dignant and the Ait gun man squirted him twice more, lightheart- 
edly. Some people still thought it was funny, including the forceful 
girl. But the waiter stood, shaking his head. His lips were trem- 
bling. He was an old man and he had worked in Chicote's for ten 
years that I knew of . 

''No hay derecho^'' he said with dignity. 

People had laughed, however, and the Ait gun man, not noticing 
how the singing had fallen ofî, squirted his Ait gun at the back of 
a waiter 's neck. The waiter turned, holding his tray. 

''No hay derecho^'^ he said. This time it was no protest. It was an 
indictment and I saw three men in uniform start from a table for 
the Ait gun man and the next thing ail four of them were going 
out the revolving door in a rush and you heard a smack when some- 
one hit the Ait gun man on the mouth. Somebody else picked up 
the Ait gun and threw it out the door after him. 

The three men came back in looking serious, tough and very 

138 



THE BUTTERFLY AND THE TANK 

righteous. Then the door revolved and in came the Ait gun man. 
His hair was down in his eyes, there was blood on his face, his neck- 
tie was pulled to one side and his shirt was torn open. He had the 
Ait gun again and as he pushed, wild-eyed and white-faced, into 
the room he made one gênerai, unaimed, challenging squirt with 
it, holding it toward the whole company. 

I saw one of the three men start for him and I saw this man's 
face. There were more men with him now and they forced the 
Ait gun man back between two tables on the left of the room as 
you go in, the Ait gun man struggling wildly now, and when the 
shot went ofï I grabbed the forceful girl by the arm and dove for 
the kitchen door. 

The kitchen door was shut and when I put my shoulder against 
it it did not give. 

"Get down hère behind the angle of the bar," I said. She knelt 
there. 

"Fiat," I said and pushed her down. She was furious. 

Every man in the room except the German, who lay behind a 
table, and the public-school-looking boy who stood in a corner 
drawn up against the wall, had a gun out. On a bench along the 
wall three over-blonde girls, their hair dark at the roots, were 
standing on tiptoe to see and screaming steadily. 

"Fm not afraid," the forceful one said. "This is ridiculous." 

"You don't want to get shot in a café brawl," I said. "If that Ait 
king has any friends hère this can be very bad." 

But he had no friends, evidently, because people began putting 
their pistols away and somebody lifte d down the blonde screamers 
and everyone who had started over there when the shot came, drew 
back away from the Ait man who lay, quietly, on his back on the 
Aoor. 

"No one is to leave until the police come," someone shouted 
from the door. 

Two policemen with riAes, who had come in off the street pa- 
trol, were standing by the door and at this announcement I saw six 
men form up just like the line-up of a football team coming out of 
a huddle and head out through the door. Three of them were the 
men who had Arst thrown the Ait king out. One of them was the 
man who shot him. They went right through the policemen with 

139 



ERNEST HEMINGWAY 

the rifles like good interférence taking out an end and a tackle. 
And as they went out one of the policemen got his rifle across the 
door and shouted, "No one can leave. Absolutely no one." 

"Why did those men go? Why hold us if anyone's gone?" 

"They were mechanics who had to return to their air field," 
someone said. 

"But if anyone's gone it's silly to hold the others." 

"Everyone must wait for the Seguridad. Things must be done 
legally and in order." 

"But don't y ou see that if any person has gone it is silly to hold 
the others?'' 

"No one can leave. Everyone must wait." 

"It's comic," I said to the forceful girl. 

"No it's not. It's simply horrible." 

We were standing up now and she was staring indignantly at 
where the flit king was lying. His arms were spread wide and he 
had one leg drawn up. 

"l'm going over to help that poor wounded man. Why has no 
one helped him or done anything for him?" 

"l'd leave him alone," I said. "You want to keep out of this." 

"But it's simply inhuman. Fve nurse's training and Fm going to 
give him first aid." 

"I wouldn't," I said. "Don't go near him." 

"Why not?" She was very upset and almost hysterical. 

"Because he's dead," I said. 

When the police came they held everybody there for three 
hours. They commenced by smeUing of ail the pistols. In this man- 
ner they would detect one which had been fired recently. After 
about forty pistols they seemed to get bored with this and anyway 
ail you could smell was wet leather coats. Then they sat at a table 
placed directly behind the late flit king, who lay on the floor look- 
ing like a grey wax caricature of himself , with grey wax hands and 
a grey wax face, and examined people's papers. 

With his shirt ripped open you could see the flit king had no 
undershirt and the soles of his shoes were worn through. He looked 
very small and pitiful lying there on the floor. You had to step 
over him to get to the table where two plain-clothes policemen sat 
and examined everyone's identification papers. The husband lost 
and found his papers several times with nervousness. He had a safe 

140 



THE BUTTERFLY AND THE TANK 

conduct pass somewhere but he had mislaid it in a pocket but he 
kept on searching and perspiring until he found it. Then he would 
put it in a différent pocket and hâve to go searching again. He 
perspired heavily while doing this and it made his hair very curly 
and his face red. He now looked as though he should hâve not only 
an old school tie but one of those little caps boys in the lower forms 
wear. You hâve heard how e vents âge people. Well this shooting 
had made him look about ten years younger. 

While we were waiting around I told the forceful girl I thought 
the v^hole thing was a pretty good story and that I would vérité it 
sometime. The way the six had lined up in single file and rushed 
that door was very impressive. She was shocked and said that I 
could not Write it because it would be prejudicial to the cause of 
the Spanish Republic. I said that I had been in Spain for a long time 
and that they used to hâve a phénoménal number of shootings in 
the old days around Valencia under the monarchy, and that for 
hundreds of years before the Republic people had been cutting 
each other with large knives called Navajas in Andalucia, and that 
if I saw a comic shooting in Chicote's during the war I could write 
about it just as though it had been in New York, Chicago, Key 
West or Marseilles. It did not hâve anything to do with politics. 
She said I shouldn't. Probably a lot of other people will say I 
shouldn't too. The German seemed to think it was a pretty good 
story however, and I gave him the last of the Camels. Well, any- 
way, finally, after about three hours the police said we could go. 

They were sort of worried about me at the Florida because in 
those days, with the shelling, if you started for home on foot and 
didn't get there after the bars were closed at seven-thirty, people 
worried. I was glad to get home and I told the story while we were 
cooking supper on an electric stove and it had quite a success. 

Well, it stopped raining during the night, and the next morning 
it was a fine, bright, cold early winter day and at twelve forty-five 
I pushed open the revolving doors at Chicote's to try a little gin 
and tonic before lunch. There were very few people there at that 
hour and two waiters and the manager came over to the table. 
They were ail smiling. 

"Did they catch the murderer?" I asked. 

"Don't make jokes so early in the day," the manager said. "Did 
you see him shot?" 

141 



ERNEST HEMINGWAY 

"Yes," I told him. 

"Me too," he said. "I was just hère when it happened." He 
pointed to a corner table. "He placed the pistol right against the 
man's chest when he fired." 

"How late did they hold people?" 

"Oh until past two this morning." 

"They only came for the fiambre," using the Spanish slang word 
for corpse, the same used on menus for cold méat, "at eleven 
o'clock this morning." 

"But you don't know about it yet," the manager said. 

"No. He doesn't know," a waiter said. 

"It is a very rare thing," another waiter said. ^^Muy raroT 

"And sad too," the manager said. He shook his head. 

"Yes. Sad and curions," the waiter said. "Very sad." 

"Tell me." 

"It is a very rare thing," the manager said. 

"Tell me. Come on tell me." 

The manager leaned over the table in great confidence. 

"In the Ait gun, you know," he said. "He had eau de cologne. 
Poor fellow." 

"It was not a joke in such bad taste, you see?" the waiter said. 

"It was really just gaiety. No one should hâve taken offense," 
the manager said. "Poor fellow." 

"I see," I said. "He just wanted everyone to hâve a good time." 

"Yes," said the manager. "It was really just an unfortunate mis- 
understanding." 

"And what about the flit gun?" 

"The police took it. They hâve sent it around to his family." 

"I imagine they will be glad to hâve it," I said. 

"Yes," said the manager. "Certainly. A flit gun is always useful." 

"Whowashe?" 

"A cabinet maker." 

"Married?" 

"Yes the wife was hère with the police this morning." 

"What did she say?" 

"She dropped down by him and said, Tedro, what hâve they 
done to thee, Pedro? Who has done this to thee? Oh Pedro.' " 

"Then the police had to take her away because she could not 
control herself," the waiter said. 

142 



THE BUTTERFLY AND THE TANK 

"It seems he was feeble of the chest/' the manager said. "He 
fought in the iirst days of the movement. They said he fought in 
the Sierra but he was too weak in the chest to continue." 

"And yesterday afternoon he just went out on the town to cheer 
things up," I suggested. 

"No," said the manager. "You see it is very rare. Everything is 
muy raro, This I learn from the police who are very efficient if 
given time. They hâve interrogated comrades from the shop where 
he worked. This they located from the card of his syndicate which 
was in his pocket. Yesterday he bought the Ait gun and agua de 
colonia to use for a joke at a wedding. He had announced this in- 
tention. He bought them across the street. There was a label on the 
Cologne bottle with the address. The bottle was in the washroom. 
It was there he filled the Ait gun. After buying them he must hâve 
come in hère when the rain started." 

"I remember when he came in," a waiter said. 

"In the gaiety, with the singing, he became gay too." 

"He was gay ail right," I said. "He was practically floating 
around." 

The manager kept on with the relentless Spanish logic. 

"That is the gaiety of drinking with a weakness of the chest," 
he said. 

"1 don't like this story very well," I said. 

"Listen," said the manager. "How rare it is. His gaiety comes 
in contact with the seriousness of the war like a butterfly — " 

"Oh very like a butterfly," I said. "Too much like a butterfly." 

"I am not joking," said the manager. "You see it? Like a butter- 
fly and a tank." 

This pleased him enormously. He was getting into the real Span- 
ish metaphysics. 

"Hâve a drink on the house," he said. "You must write a story 
about this." 

I remembered the flit gun man with his grey wax hands and his 
grey wax face, his arms spread wide and his legs drawn up and 
he did look a little like a butterfly; not too much, you know. But 
he did not look very human either. He reminded me more of a 
dead sparrow. 

"Fil take gin and Schweppes quinine tonic water," I said. 

143 



ERNEST HEMINGWAY 

"You must Write a story about it," the manager said. "Hère. 
Here's luck." 

"Luck," I said. "Look, an English girl last night told me I 
shouldn't Write about it. That it would be very bad for the cause." 

"What nonsense," the manager said. "It is very interesting and 
important, the misunderstood gaiety coming in contact with the 
deadly seriousness that is hère always. To me it is the rarest and 
most interesting thing which I hâve seen for some time. You must 
Write it." 

"Ail right," I said. "Sure. Has he any children?" 

"No," he said. "I asked the police. But you must write it and 
you must call it The Butterfly and the Tank." 

"Ail right," ï said. "Sure. But I don't like the title much." 

"The title is very élégant," the manager said. "It is pure litera- 
ture." 

"Ail right," I said. "Sure. That's what we'U call it. The Butterfly 
and the Tank." 

And I sat there on that bright cheerful morning, the place smell- 
ing clean and newly aired and swept, with the manager who was 
an old friend and who was now very pleased with the literature 
we were making together and I took a sip of the gin and tonic 
water and looked out the sandbagged window and thought of the 
wife kneeling there and saying, "Pedro. Pedro, who has done this 
to thee, Pedro?" And I thought that the police would never be 
able to tell her that even if they had the name of the man who 
puUed the trigger. 



144 



Eàmr Lee Mastcrs 



DREISER AT SPOON RIVER 



Along with H. L. Mencken and Sinclair Lewis, Edgar Lee Masters 
was a major force in the New Realism which broke through the 
genteel literary tradition that dominated American letters at the 
turn of the century. In Spoon River Anthology (published anony- 
mously in 19 15) Masters had created his images of bittemess and 
frustration in a collection of epitaphs describing the secret lives of 
dead citizens. He made literary history in the poetic treatment of 
small-town America, adhering to the natural rhythms and coUoquial 
form of spoken language. 

One of the poems in Spoon River Anthology (Macmillan, 1915), 
describing Dreiser, was called "Théodore the Poet": 

As a boy, Théodore, you sat for long hours 

On the shore of the turbid Spoon 

With deep-set eye staring at the door of the crawfish's burrow, 

Waiting for him to appear, pushing ahead, 

First his waving antennae, Uke straw of hay, 

And soon his body, colored like soap-stone, 

Gemmed with eyes of jet. 

And you wondered in a trance of thought 

What he knew, what he desired, and why he lived at ail. 

But later your vision watched for men and women 

Hiding in burrows of fate amid great cities, 

Looking for the soûls of them to corne eut, 

So that you could see 

How they lived, and for what. 

And why they kept crawling so busily 

Along the sandy way where water fails 

As the summer wanes. 

Another portrait of his friend appeared în our May 1939 issue. 
It arrived at Esquire with the folio wing reassurance: 

The enclosed pièce, "John Armstrong Entertains Dreiser at Spoon 

145 



EDGAR LEE MASTERS 

River," is a good thing to prove to the authorities that Esqutre is 
following an impeccable course. It is good history and ail true. 

Yours, 

E. L. Masters 



ONE TIME WHEN DREISER WAS IN CHICAGO GATHERING MATERIAL 

for a novel, our talks day by day ranged the country, and it came 
about that I told him of the fiddler John Armstrong, who was 
famous in central Illinois for his stories and his fiddling, and as the 
son of Hannah Armstrong, Lincoln's friend and landlady. Arm- 
strong lived in the village of Oakford, about eight miles north of 
New Salem Hill, where Lincoln was postmaster in his young man- 
hood; he had lived near Oakford ail his sixty-seven years. At this 
time I had never seen Armstrong; I had often planned to visit him. 
I wanted to hear him play the fiddle and to tell stories about 
Menard County and New Salem, about his people and the country 
of Lincoln's day. Some of thèse racy stories had been passed on to 
me by people who had come in contact with x\rmstrong. But that 
was not like hearing him tell them and interlard his words with 
oaths. So I had been informed; and somewhat to my surprise 
Dreiser became greatly interested in Armstrong, and when I told 
him that I had to be in Springfîeld the next day, only twenty miles 
from Oakford, and thought of going on to pay the long déferre d 
visit to Armstrong, Dreiser said that he would go too, if he could 
manage his engagements. The resuit was that I went to Springfîeld, 
and there awaited a telegram from Dreiser, while I attende d to 
some business in the Illinois capital. 

John Armstrong belonged to the Lincoln history; not only was 
he the son of that Hannah Armstrong who had boarded Lincoln 
in his New Salem days but his father was that Jack Armstrong who 
was the wrestler, who had wrestled with Lincoln. His brother was 
that Duff Armstrong who had been defended by Lincoln, using 
an almanac to prove that the witnesses had misstated the facts when 
they testified that the moon was at the meridian at the moment 
that Duff Armstrong struck his victim Metzger with a neck yoke 
and produced his death. If the moon was not at the meridian, but 
was setting, the witnesses could not hâve seen the blow struck, or 

146 



DREISER AT SPOON RIVER 

with what it was struck. That was the point of the almanac, which 
proved that the moon was setting. 

After John's father died one summer of what John called "the 
lung fever," his words for pneumonia, long after Lincoln left New 
Salem Village for Springfield, John with his mother Hannah lived 
in varions parts of the county of Menard in which Oakford is 
situated. Sometimes he lived with his mother and Duiï in what is 
called Sandridge Precinct, and then near the Sangamon River, just 
across from Mason County. Hère there were camp meetings and 
rowdy dances where the fiddlers came and the platform dancers 
performed under the spell of many drinks. It was at a camp meet- 
ing that Dufï Armstrong killed Metzger. John told me that at this 
camp meeting "they would sit around where there was preachin' 
for a while, and then they'd go and get some drinks." 

John grew up hearing his mother tell of New Salem and the 
days when she darned Lincoln's socks. He became saturated with 
the stories and the flavor of this countryside, with ail that his 
mother told him of the horse racing, foot racing and horseshoe 
pitching, and loafing in Berry's Store, where Lincoln sat around 
telling anecdotes — ail there at New Salem twenty years before 
John was born. At last, a good while after Lincoln's death, Hannah 
died, and John married a daughter of "Fiddler" Jones, and carried 
on the art of the country fiddler. For many years by the time of 
my visit with Dreiser to see him at Oakford he had lived there, 
where he ran a grain elevator, and kept open house to his friends, 
where his wife Aunt Caroline delighted guests with her bountiful 
table, and where John entertained them with fiddling and story- 
telling. He was supposed to hâve many souvenirs of the Lincoln 
days; but in point of fact, as it turned out, he had nothing but a 
picture of his mother and one of Dufî, a picture of some of the 
jurymen who tried Dufî, and a book containing Lincoln's auto- 
graph. But John as the survivor of a time that was passed was of far 
greater interest than such things as thèse. I wanted to see him in 
order to know just what kind of people it was that Lincoln had 
lived with in his youth; and above that to hear John talk and play 
the fiddle. Finally when I was ready to leave for Springfield, 
Dreiser could not accompany me. He said, however, that he would 
telegraph me the next day, if he could come then. 

147 



EDGAR LEE MASTERS 

When I got to Springfield I told my father about Dreiser. As he 
did not read novels to any extent, but only law books and the like, 
he did not know Dreiser's work. He tried to get me to set ofî that 
very afternoon for Oakford, saying that John might die any time, 
and I would miss the chance of seeing him. Why wait for Dreiser? 
As a New York novehst Dreiser would not be interested in John, 
and would not appreciate him. What would he care for John's 
fiddling? However, I did not go to Oakford that afternoon. And 
the next morning a telegram came from Dreiser saying that he 
would be down from Chicago on the afternoon train. My father 
prepared to go with us. He telephoned John, who sent back a 
hearty welcome to ail of us, saying that his wife would hâve the 
best dinner ready that she could prépare, and that he would meet 
us at the dépôt. 

That afternoon my father got engage d in business so that he 
could not go. I went down to the station to meet Dreiser, from 
which also our train for Oakford departed. I was as surprised to 
see Dreiser get ofî the train, as I was to get his telegram. But there 
he was laughing and repeating some of the jokes of Armstrong that 
I had told him. He was in lively spirits. We boarded the Oakford 
train and soon were on our way. Dreiser looked out of the window 
studying the country. It was not greatly différent from the Indiana 
landscape with which he was identified as a boy and young man. 
But at the edge of Springfield there were a lot of Italians repairing 
the track. He commented on their sturdiness and vitality. When 
we passed through the first httle village and saw the typical Ameri- 
can idlers standing by the station to watch the train arrive he con- 
trasted their listless behavior with the spirited manner of the Ital- 
ians we had seen. I pointed out to him places identified with my 
boyhood; the blacksmith shop at Cantrall where I had almost 
burned my fingers ofî; the Chautauqua Grounds near Petersburg 
which had been established in memory of Lincoln, and near at 
hand the place in the Sangamon River where I was nearly drowned. 
There was nothing there but the bend; for long before the water 
mill which succeeded the mill of Lincoln's day at New Salem, had 
vanished, and even the dam was ail but obliterated. At Petersburg, 
twenty miles from Springfield, the train stoppe d long enough for 
me to tell him about varions houses and buildings; the Old Menard 
House where Lincoln used to stop when he came to Petersburg to 

148 



DREISER AT SPOON RIVER 

court; various buildings of local note about the square; the little 
brick station, no longer used, standing back from the track which 
was used when I was a boy in Petersburg, and from which I left 
when we moved from Petersburg to Lewistown, fifty miles north. 
When we left Petersburg we came to the f arm country with which 
I was familiar, and to the hamlet of Atterberry, where the store 
still stood that was there when I was a boy, and was still managed 
by the man who had run it ail thèse intervening years. A few 
miles beyond we came to Oakford, sighting first the grain elevator 
which John Armstrong owned and conducted; for he was a man of 
means, and had led a thrifty and industrious life, along with fid- 
dling and hunting. 

John was standing on the station platform. I knew him by the 
pictures of him that I had seen. He was glancing about with wild- 
bird eyes for someone that looked like his idea of me. But I knew 
him at once and went to him, introducing Dreiser, who turned his 
eyes upon John and bored him through with scrutinizing pénétra- 
tion. John was not conscious of Dreiser's stare, nor did he seem to 
betray any curiosity in Dreiser, though Dreiser's coat with its fur 
collar, and his city apparel and city manner might well hâve caused 
a countryman to look the newcomer over. For himself John was 
freshly shaved, he had on clean linen and a good four-in-hand, his 
shoes were polished, he looked eminently respectable. I might hâve 
supposed that he had dressed for us, but it turned out that John 
was always careful of his appearance. His mother, Hannah, though 
a pioneer woman, had a certain breeding; and according to my 
grandmother, who knew and loved her for years, she was a woman 
of excellent character. John had derived from his home environ- 
ment under her an understanding of good habits of life, of a kind 
of homely étiquette, of the ways of hospitality. As a liver and a 
hunter, as a man who had gone about his own country for years 
meeting ail sorts of men in that locality John would hâve been at 
ease with anyone. He took Dreiser for just another man, one per- 
haps of a new type, but no matter for that. So we stood momen- 
tarily on the platform of the station, where Dreiser's great height 
contrasted with John's low stature. John said, "They say you're a 
writin' feller." And when Dreiser laughed and admitted that he 
was, John remarked, "Wal, by God, that was what I was told. 
Corne on now boys we'll go to the house. Aunt Caroline has dinner 

149 



EDGAR LEE MASTERS 

about ready, and Fve got some fine whisky for you. A feller over 
in the 'Burg giv' it to me." 

Oakford was a village of just a few houses and about one hun- 
dred people. We passed up a street where there were two stores 
on one side and some houses on the other. "You remember Oak- 
ford, don't you, Lee?" John asked me. When I said I did, he went 
on, "Do you remember when Porky Jim Thomas run a sample 
room right thar?" John pointed to one of the stores which had 
become a drug store. With this Dreiser exploded with laughter. 
To which John paid no attention. "Where is Porky Jim?" I in- 
quired. "Wal," replied John, "I don't know exactly where he is at. 
He died about ten years ago. We buried him hère in Oakford. 
We'll go and look at his grave tomorrow." Though I knew why 
the man was called Porky Jim I asked John for Dreiser's benefit 
where he got such a name. "Why, Cy Skaggs giv' him that name. 
You see runnin' that sample room he got as big around as a barl, 
and as purple in the face as a gobbler. He drank a quart of whisky 
a day, by God, and said that no man could be healthy without it. 
Cy Skaggs called him that, and it stuck." 

Dreiser stopped to laugh which John seemed to take as a matter 
of course. He and 1 paused waiting for Dreiser, while John went 
on telling me about the last days of Porky Jim. "He had the 
dropsy, the doctors called it, and almost bust. They had to tap 
him; and a man told me they took ofî ten gallons of water. Once 
we had a hoss race hère. One of the Atterberrys was raisin' quarter 
bosses. Porky Jim was thar takin' bets. He could hardly get around. 
'Pears to me that's the last time I saw Porky before he got down at 
home." By this time Dreiser having laughed himself out came up 
to where we were standing, and on we went to John's house, which 
was only two blocks from the station. 

John's house was a cottage of one story, but it was freshly painted 
and in good repair. His yard was large and surrounded by a picket 
fence. There were lilac bushes and other flowering growths on 
the lawn. At one side was a large vegetable garden where the stalks 
of last summer's corn stood, blasted and shaking in the February 
wind. A brick walk led from the gâte to the front door. From the 
chimney a cloud of soft coal smoke was pouring. John opened the 
door, held it ajar for us to enter, and we came in and set our hand- 
bags down and began to take in the room. It was small with a low 

150 



DREISER AT SPOON RIVER 

ceiling. On the wall were black crayons of relatives; in the corner 
was an organ; in the center a soft-coal base burner with windows 
of isinglass through which the flames of a hot fire were flickering. 
On the floor was a rag carpet of many hues, and in a good state. 
John went on into the dining room, which we could see into. 
There a long table was already set, and from the kitchen beyond 
we could hear the steps of John's wife, Aunt Caroline, and her 
daughter, and the sizzling of food in the skillet. Dreiser looked at 
me and was still laughing. We stood there, thinking that John had 
gone out only for a moment. That proved to be true. He returned 
bearing the promised whisky, and we drank together. John was 
chuckling and talking and swearing with no stay. In a moment 
Aunt Caroline and her daughter came in. I shook hands with them 
as Aunt Caroline said, "Fve knowed your pap since he was fifteen 
years old. He was at a dance about then where my brother fiddled. 
I knew your grandpap and your grandma, but I never knowed you 
before. They say you live in Chicago." 

Meantime Dreiser stood unintroduced. "This hère, Caroline, is 
a writin' feller from New York. By God, Fve forgot your name." 
Dreiser told him in a quiet voice as his eyes flamed with mirth. 
''Yes," said John, "Dresser. Why, Caroline, you remember them 
Dressers that lived over thar by Sait Creek, just east of Dutchland. 
They was Dutch. Ain't you Dutch?" Dreiser replied that he was 
of German parentage. "I thought so," observed John. 

Aunt Caroline and her daughter now disappeared to the kitchen 
and we sat down by the fire while John talked a stream, teUing 
about varions things that had happened in the neighborhood, about 
the horse races, the odd characters of the past. He was running 
over with stories. Dreiser sat there and laughed quietly to himself. 
John seemed to be oblivious of everything but the stories that he 
was telling. He kept punctuating his remarks with "by Gods," 
and laughing heartily at his own humor. Finally Dreiser asked him, 
"Did you know Lincoln?" "Well, I kain't say that I knowed him," 
John replied. "I seed him onct that I remember well. You see when 
Dufï was tried — thar's his picture on the wall — I was only nine 
years old. And my mother, that's Aunt Hannah as they called her, 
took me to Beardstown whar they had Duff in jail. That's when I 
seed Linkern." "What did he look like?" asked Dreiser, growing 
more interested. "Wal, by God, that's hard to answer. He looked 

151 



EDGAR LEE MASTERS 

like one of thèse hère crânes you see along the Sangamon River — 
tall, you know, and thin. He didn't hâve no beard, that I remem- 
ber. I know damn well he didn't hâve no beard, because my mother 
said so many times." "Did you see him sitting down as well as 
standing?" John looked at Dreiser sharply, seeing that the ques- 
tions were growing acute. "You ain't no lawyer, are you, Dresser?" 
asked John. Dreiser answered that he wasn't a lawyer. "By God 
you Sound like it," remarked John. "You sound like old Breese 
Johnson that used to be over at the 'Burg forty years ago." "I 
wanted to know how Lincoln looked when he was sitting down," 
Dreiser explained. "Wal, I expect he looked like one of thèse hère 
grasshoppers with their jints stickin' up when they squat. You see 
Linkern had awful long legs. My mother said so. Over at Havaner 
thar was a man named Colonel Prickett. He told me that he seed 
Linkern on the platform thar onct, and that his knees stuck up 
half way to his waist." This was the ténor of the talk as Aunt Caro- 
line entered to announce that dinner was ready. 

"I expect you boys want to wash," John observed. He opened 
doors ofï the living room where we had been sitting and showed us 
into our separate rooms. There we found bowls and pitchers of 
water, and fresh towels. We aiso saw the very comfortable beds 
built up with feather ticks, and log-house quilts which Aunt Caro- 
line had spread for us with hospitable care. We came back into the 
living room, though John had been standing as we washed near our 
doors in order to finish one of his stories. He was swearing and 
talking in the husky amusing voice that was his. Ail the while 
Dreiser was smiling or chuckling, or looking about with his pene- 
trating eyes, as if he felt that he had never seen anyone like John, 
or any house just like this cottage was. John now took us into the 
dining room, and then as suddenly left us as he passe d into the 
kitchen, remarking, "By God, I believe l'il wash myself." We 
could see him as he hid his face in his hands, and exploded the 
water about his face from a tin basin. 

We sat down to a table of fried chicken, boiled ham and boiled 
beef; to potatoes, cabbage, rutabagas, carrots and onions; to hot 
biscuits and corn bread; to wild honey and every variety of pré- 
serves and canned berries; to pickles made of tomatoes, water- 
melon rinds, cucumbers; to blackberry pie and many kinds of cake; 
to milk and excellent cream; to cofÎFee that was better than one 

152 



DREISER AT SPOON RIVER 

usually finds in country households. John did not wait for us to 
begin. He started at once to feed, eating heartily, talking without 
remission, while Dreiser sat there silently partaking of the fare, 
rather delicately, not saying much, but laughing to himself at times 
at John's stories. His mood seemed to be one of respect for the 
household, of appréciation of the hospitality which was so gêner- 
ons, of comprehending interest in John as a véritable character. He 
really noted everything; even though at times seeming to be far 
away. Long after he referred to this visit, and repeated some of 
John's picturesque vernacular, showing that it had fastened itself 
in his memory. 

An evening then foUowed in which Dreiser laughed and rocked; 
or sat with his head against the back of the chair, folding his hand- 
kerchief into squares, or leaning forward to ask John something, 
or to hear him better, At times he howled with delight. Aunt Caro- 
line and her daughter washed the dishes, and came in the living 
room after the fun had started. Neither said anything; while Aunt 
Caroline was knitting and looking down at her work in respectful 
silence to John. He was going on as before, growing more ani- 
mated, and piling one anecdote upon another, and calling the char- 
acter he was portraying, or teUing about nicknames that were 
in themselves as funny as the comédies he sketched. By seven 
o'clock the hour seemed late, for it was winter and darkness by 
then had long come upon the prairies, and the woods which skirted 
the Sangamon River two miles away, and the hills just near Oak- 
ford. And such silence without, save for the wind! 

"The storm without might rair and rustle" we "did na mind the 
storm a whistle," there comfortably grouped about the coal stove 
watching the fiâmes flicker against the isinglass doors. Aunt Caro- 
line sat attentive upon her knitting, the daughter looked down de- 
murely, somewhat abashed by John's guests; Dreiser folded his 
handkerchief, and John went on telling about quarter horses, camp 
meetings, dances, fîddler contests in which he had fîgured. Some- 
times as many as fifty iiddlers came together at Havana, or one of 
the near-by towns, there in some hall to strive for a set of harness, 
a whip, a five-dollar gold pièce as the prize for the best fiddling. 
And John had often won the prize. "By God, I won 'er this time," 
was his comment. 

Perhaps John would hâve talked on until sleep vanquished him, 

153 



EDGAR LEE MASTERS 

if I had not said that we wanted to hear him play the fiddle. He 
made no excuses, he just got up and got his fiddle. He asked his 
daughter to play the organ for him and to give him the key. The 
daughter arose without a word, with no expression on her face, just 
arose like a wraith and sat down at the organ and gave John the 
key. Then John tuned the fiddle, and sat back and began to tell 
stories again, rather he began to préface the playing of each pièce 
with words concerning its origin and where it got its name, and 
where he heard it first. Nearly every tune was associated with 
something that had happened at a dance, at the county fair, at a 
camp meeting, a party, or a festival of some sort. For years he 
had attended thèse things which were a continuation of the New 
Salem events, of dances at the Rutledge Tavern, of horse races, on 
the prairie west of New Salem. Thus if he had lived at New Salem 
when Lincoln did we should not hâve had a truer re-creation of 
those days. 

John played such pièces as Rocky Road to Jordan, Way up Tar 
Creek, Foggy Mountain Top, Hell among the Yearlins, Little 
Drops of Brandy, The Wind that Shakes the Barley, Good Mornin^ 
Uncle Johnny, Tve Fetched Your Wagon Home, as well as the 
more familiar pièces like Zip Coon, Turkey in the Straiv. Some- 
times he sang words as he played, like this: 

"There was a woman in our town, 
In our town did dwell, 
She loved her husband dear-i-lee, 
But another man twict as well." 

He played a pièce which he called Toor-a Loor, and another 
called The Speckled Hen, and another which he called Chaw 
Roast Beef. He sang and played Swingin^ in the Lane, He played 
and sang The Missouri Harmony: 

"When in death I shall calm recline 

O bear my heart to my mistress dear, 
Tell her it lived on smiles and wine 

Of brightest hue while it languished hère. 
Bid her not shed one tear of sorrow 

To sully a heart so brilliant and light. 
But balmy drops of the red grape borrow 

To bathe the relict from morn till night." 



DREISER AT SPOON RIVER 

Concerning this, John said by way of préface before beginning, 
"This hère is The Missouri Harmony. Linkern used to sing it, but 
he couldn't carry no tune. That's what my mother told me. But 
he'd try at it." 

Between playing he was piling up anecdotes about "One Eyed" 
Clemons, "Corky Bill" Atterberry, "Quarter Hoss" Sam Louns- 
bury, "Snaggle Tooth" Engle, "Slicky Bill" Greene. Dreiser sat 
there convulsed with laughter, just quietly folding his handker- 
chief. 

John played a pièce which he called Pete McCue^s Straw Stack, 
and he told us before playing it, "This hère is called Pete McCue^s 
Straiv Stack named after old Peter McCue, who lived down by 
Tar Creek. They had a dance thar one time and the boys tied their 
horses close to a straw stack, and when they came out the bosses 
had et ail the straw. They had been playing this pièce that night, 
but after that they called it Pete McCue^s Straw Stack. I forget 
what they called it before this." 

Resting at times from the fiddle, John held the instrument 
against his arm and talked, telling us what platform dancing was, 
and about the famous platform dancers that he had known, one of 
whom growing excited with drink and music, had looked about 
the room and called out, "Clar the cheers out. Fm goin' to take ofî 
my shoes and corne down on her." He did so and his feet went 
through the puncheon floor and that resulted in renaming the 
dance music. After that it is was called Skinnin^ Your Shins for the 
dancer had skinned his shins pretty badly. And John told about a 
noted strong man of Oakford who had whipped a savage bulldog 
with his own hands, and about Clay Bailey, who had entered the 
circus ring and taken an escaped léopard by the tail and dragged 
it back to its cage. "He couldn't hâve a-done that withouten he 
was drunk. The likker made him powerful strong and keerless." 
Aunt Caroline didn't bat an eye as John told thèse marvels. The 
daughter still sat at the organ waiting for John to name the next 
pièce. Dreiser was red in the face from suppressed laughter. 

John was as good a fiddler as I had ever heard; but he protested 
that he was a poor performer compared to his wife's brother, who 
had gone from Oakford years before, and had died in lowa. "As 
fur as that's concerned," John confessed, "Fiddler Bill Watkins 
could beat me ail holler, and he warn't a patchin to my wife's 



EDGAR LEE MASTERS 

brother. He used to play for ail the dances hère and up Tar Creek 
— and fîght! Why, by God, onct over near the Lattimore, just this 
side of Dutchland, they was havin' a dance, and some fellers from 
Mason County was thar and had cum over to break it up. 'Fiddler 
Biir jest laid down his fiddle, stepped from the platform, and 
whooped the whole lot. Now you see my Pap was Jack Arm- 
strong, a powerful man he was in the arms and back; and the truth 
is Linkern never throwed him. It was a tie. My mother told me 
50 a hundred times before she died." 

"How big was your father?" I asked John. "Why he warn't so 
t>ig," John replied. "He was short like I am, but husky, big chest, 
and weighed about one hundred eighty. He never was throwed, is 
what they tell me." 

Dreiser by this time had looked at ail the pictures on the wall. 
în an interval of fiddling he asked John about Dufï Armstrong, 
whose picture hung near the entrance door. It was the face of a 
hard man, with wild eyes, rather cruel on the whole. John saw 
Dreiser looking at the picture and remarked, "You can believe 
Dufï was a fightin' man. It was a fight that got him into the court 
at Beardstown where Linkern defended him with the almanac." 

"How about that almanac?" asked Dreiser. "You were not at 
the trial, I hâve heard." 

"No, I warn't," John admitted; "but I was down one time to 
Beardstown with my mother when Dufï was thar in jail, before 
the trial." 

"What did your mother say was done? She was présent at the 
trial, wasn't she?" 

"Yes, she was thar. She said Linkern handed a almanac to the 
judge which showed that the witnesses had lied about the moon." 

"Yes, I know ail about that," Dreiser interjected. "But do you 
know where he got the almanac? Did you ever hear that Lincoln 
had it printed for this case?" 

"Yes, by God, I heard that," replied John with spirit; "but it 
ain't true. He got that almanac at the drug store. He went up and 
handed the almanac to the judge, and the judge seed that the moon 
was settin' and not at the meridian as the witnesses said. So how 
could they see Dufï hit that feller with a neck yoke, because the 
moon was bright?" 

"Yes, yes," said Dreiser, folding his handkerchief and leaning 

156 



DREISER AT SPOON RIVER 

back, as if he had satisfîed himself that John did not hâve anything 
of importance to reveal upon this subject. 

^'There's lots of stories about that almanac," said John. "Why 
one time over at Springfield I seed a afîîdavit that said that Linkern 
didn't change the almanac. And right on the wall thar is a picture 
of one of the jurymen that tried Dufî. He was a smart man, and 
no one could play any trick on him." 

Dreiser was now rocking and singing Turkey in the Straiv to 
himself. "Came to the River and couldn't get across, Paid five dol- 
lars for an old blind hoss — Turkey in the straw, Turkey in the 
hay . . . etc." 

I thought Fd suggest an idea, so I said, "J^^i^» here's something 
that hasn't been talked about much. That almanac was not légal 
évidence, and the judge was either fooled or else he admitted it in 
évidence, knowing it was illégal. 

"It has turned out that an astronomical survey made at Harvard, 
I belle ve it was, showed that the moon was just where the almanac 
put it that night. But an Ayers or Sarsaparilla almanac would prove 
the State of the weather, or the position of the moon just as much 
as a Montgomery Ward catalogue would prove what their prices 
were; that is, if y ou just put the catalogue in évidence without 
someone from the store to swear that those prices were correct." 

"Is that so?" said John in great surprise. "Wal, by God, Linkern 
got it in évidence." 

"Yes those were the good old days. No one thought of bringing 
an astronomer into court to testify where the moon was on a cer- 
tain night at a certain hour and minute. An almanac was believed 
in. But here's something else; even if the moon was setting and not 
at the meridian the witnesses might hâve seen your brother strike 
that man Metzger with the neck yoke. What happened was that 
the évidence of thèse witnesses was clouded by the almanac. They 
said the moon was at the meridian, and the almanac showed it was 
setting. But, what of it? Your brother hit the man, didn't he?" 

"You bet he did," was John's quick reply. "And FU tell you 
why, by God. You see my brother and this man was hère in 
Oakford before that. Duiï was asleep on a barl; and this man come 
up and cotched him while he was asleep, and pulled him ofï the 
barl. So they fit right then and thar. There was bad blood betwixt 
them. And that night when Dufî used the neck yoke there was a 

157 



EDGAR LEE MASTERS 

gênerai fight with several in it; and this hère Metzger was hit with 
a slung shot by somebody, and Duff hit him with a neck yoke. 
But what Duff did didn't kill him. It was the slung shot. A doctor 
got on the witness stand and swore that it was the slung shot that 
cracked his skull. Besides ail that, the évidence showed that Metz- 
ger ridin' home that night fell off his hoss several times. So how 
could you say that ary blow at the fight killed him? He might hâve 
cracked his head fallin' off his hoss; for as fur as that's concerned 
he rode home after bein' hit with the slung shot and the neck yoke. 
And Linkern's speech which made my mother cry, and everybody 
in the court room, freed Duff right thar." 

"According to this, the position of the moon had as much to do 
with the case as the astrology of the Babylonians," I said. 

"Is that so?" said John mildly. "Maybe you're right." 

Dreiser began to sing: 

"The prettiest girl that ever I saw 
Was sucking cider through a straw. 

"Play Turkey in the Straiv again, John," he requested. And John 
played it with more spirit than ever, if that had been possible, 
keeping time with a loud thud of his foot. When he was not fîd- 
dling, his daughter sat patiently at the organ waiting for John to 
give the signal to play. She was not saying a word. His manner of 
starting off would be something like this: "This hère is called Hell 
Amongst the Yearlins. ï don't ricollect what it was furst called; 
but they had a dance over at Ben Sutton's onct, and while they 
was a dancin' the cattle broke into his corn. So ever since they 
hâve called it Hell Amongst the Yearlins.'''' 

It was évident by this time that John thought he had met a 
strange man in the person of Dreiser. John perhaps could not see 
whether Dreiser was interested in his exhibition or not. He was 
perhaps puzzled to know in just what mood Dreiser was laughing. 

"The most curions man I ever seed," he said later. "When he 
looks at you with his good eye he seems to know a plenty. When 
his cockeye turns up he looks like one of the Spilly boys. That 
good eye of his bores you right through. He asks questions as good 
as a lawyer." 

The almanac case did not exhaust the subject of Duff. There 

158 



DREISER AT SPOON RIVER 

was the matter of Dufï's war record, and his discharge from the 
army by grâce of Lincoln, specially exercised, at the instance of 
Hannah, whose journey to Washington to intercède for her son 
is in ail the books about Lincoln. Dufï had died many years before, 
thus leaving a world that had puzzled him, and made wastage of 
him. "Duiï kept a-drinkin','' was John's comment. "He got so 
anybody could whoop him. He went around showin' his discharge 
from the army and pickin' up money for drinks on it." John laid 
the fiddle aside by this time. He brought forth some of his sou- 
venirs; little things that belonged to his mother; a book containing 
Lincoln's autograph; and a very good picture of his mother when 
she was probably toward seventy. It was the face of a dignified 
pioneer woman, not without a certain charm. He then told us 
that she had died in lowa, far from the scènes of her interesting 
life. 

The evening ended at ten, and we went to bed. The partition 
between my room and Dreiser's was thin. Sometime after lights 
were out, and John had attended to the stove for the night and 
retired, I heard Dreiser laughing. "What is the matter, Dreiser?" 
î called out. 

"I was thinking that we were going to see the grave of Porky 
Jim in the morning. My God, how funny!" 

There was a breakfast of ham and eggs, and cakes, and corn 
bread, and ail the préserves of the night before. We had about an 
hour, before the train left for Springfield, to see the little cemetery 
on a rise of ground east of the railroad tracks. We wandered 
around as I read the names of men and women whom I had known 
as a boy when I drove about the country or went to Concord 
Church with my grandparents. Dreiser was walking with John. I 
paused before a stone on which was carved the name of James 
Thomas; and it meant nothing to me. I remembered no James 
Thomas. "Who was James Thomas, John?" I asked as he came 
doser to me. 

"Why, by God, that's Porky Jim," said John with a chuckle. 

"Porky Jim," laughed Dreiser. "Oh me, oh me!" 

Standing hère we could see the heavy woods about four miles 
north along the banks of the Sangamon River. The Spoon River 
was at least twenty miles farther north. We had said goodbye to 

159 



EDGAR LEE MASTERS 

Aunt Caroline and her daughter when we left the house. Now at 
the train we parted from John, who laughed as he said, ''Corne 
again, boys." 

Much later than this I was in Springfîeld. John's daughter came 
to see me to ask me to go to Oakford to console her father. She 
said he was not well. By this time John was quite old. It was very 
difficult for me to take the time to go to Oakford; but the daugh- 
ter was so urgent that I did so. She said that her father would be 
badly hurt if I did not pay him a visit. 

After a trip on the train and some motoring I arrived. John was 
visibly ill, and in a quiétude. He didn't want to fiddle for me; but 
after I had begged him to do so, he got his daughter to the organ 
and began to play. It was slack playing at first, then he did better. 
Darkness was coming early. It was four o'clock, and I had to go. 
He followed me to the door with a sort of melancholy air. He was 
going to Texas the next week for the winter. 

"Fil see you in the spring, John, when I come." 

"No," he said, in a matter of fact way, "you won't see me no 
more. I won't be hère in the spring." Immediately after this correct 
prophecy concerning himself he suddenly brightened. "What's 
become of that feller that was hère with you?" 

"Oh," I replied, "he has pubhshed a book that everyone is talk- 
ing about," referring to An American Tragedy. 

"Is that so?" said John. "Wal, he left something hère, and I allus 
wanted to send it to him, and didn't know where he was." 

"What was it?" 

"Why, them things, drawers and a shirt that he slept hère in." 

"You mean pajamas?" 

"Is that what you call 'em? Pajamas, eh?" 

"Don't mind about sending them," I said, as I hurried down the 
walk to the car. 

John died in January of 1926, two months after this farewell. 
Aunt Caroline lingered along till 1935. Thus ended the saga of the 
Armstrong family, which began with Aunt Hannah, who cooked 
4nd darned for Lincoln. 



160 



l^dson Algren 



THE CAPTAIN IS A GARD 



Among the most successful ingrédients in The Man with the 
Golden Arm^ the book that won Nelson Algren the National Book 
Award in 1949, were the police line-up scènes. Actually, Algren had 
published several versions of this scène previously, and ail the 
versions hâve certain things in common: the rapid-fire exchange of 
dialogue between the police captain and the assorted petty criminals 
is always the same in tone, always a question, the answer, a wise- 
crack; and the character of the captain is fairly consistent from story 
to story. 

Algren apparently first used the situation in a story called "Biceps," 
which appeared in The Southern Review in 1941, and then (con- 
siderably altered) under the title "The Captain Is a Gard" in Esquive, 
June 1942. Later that year Algren published his novel Never Corne 
Morning, in which the section appears as "A Bottle of Milk for 
Mother," again considerably altered, this time to fit into the loosely 
structured novel. Still again the same situation, with a more or less 
new set of wisecracks and characters, was used in the short story 
called "The Captain Has Bad Dreams, or Who Put the Sodium 
Amytal in the Hill & Hill," which was later included in his book of 
short stories The Néon Wilderness. He then prepared a completely 
new version for the police line-up sections of The Man with the 
Golden Arm, 



THE UNDERSIZED MAN AT THE HEAD OF THE FIRST LINE OF THE EVE- 

ning had just been brought in oflF the street, and wore an oversized 
army overcoat dragging past his knees; its hem was frayed and 
caked with mud, as though he'd been sitting on a curb with the 
hem in the gutter. The coat's top button dangled loosely and he 
twisted it tenderly; feeling perhaps that the last vestige of his re- 
spectability dangled with it. If you took him seriously he looked 
like the original tough-luck kid, and if you didn't he looked like 
Amateur Night at the nearest burlesque. 

161 



NELSON ALGREN 

What was he doing in a police lineup anyhow, the Captain 
wanted to know. 

"Just hère for protecting myself is ail," the little man explained. 
Then he glanced uneasily toward the Captain's shadowed corner 
as though f earing he had, so soon in the questioning, given a wrong 
answer. 

"Don't look over hère. Tell your story to the mike." 

The oversize overcoat looked into the amplifier with the face of 
an aging terrier searching forever, with brown-eyed weariness, a 
world of shadowed corners. Of padlocked poolrooms, bootleg 
bookies, curtained brothels, darkened sidestreets and unlit, littered 
alleys. He looked like he hadn't walked down an open street in 
daylight, nor had a friendly nod of récognition in his life. He looked 
lost. 

"Do you ever go around looking for trouble?" 

"No sir. I don't like trouble." 

"Then what are you doing in front of a tavern at two in the 
morning with a Luger under your coat? Don't you know those 
things go ofï?" 

"l'm a vétéran." 

"What's that got to do with it? l'm a vétéran too. But I don't go 
prowling around taverns with artillery under my clothes." 

The vétéran eyed the Captain's corner furtively before he an- 
swered. 

"He shoved me," was the explanation. 

"Who's 'he'?" 

"A feller I never seen him before. He bought me a drink. Be- 
cause l'm a vétéran." 

"Then what happened?" 

"He told me to go home." 

"Then he slugged you?" 

"No sir. He just shoved me was ail." 

"Then what?" 

"Then nothing. That's ail. I went home like he told me." 

"And picked up a Luger and came back to blow his head ofï?" 

"Yes sir. Naturally." As though that had been understood ail 
along. 

'''Naturally? Don't you realize that if the officer hadn't happened 

162 



THE CAPTAIN IS A GARD 

along to take that thing ofî y ou, you'd be standing there for mur- 
der now?" 

Silence. "WeU?" 

"Yes sir. ï realize." 

"You're pretty cool about it." 

"Yes sir. Vm a vétéran." 

"What the hell bas that got to do with it?" The Captain was 
exasperated at last. "I saw as much over there as you did." 

The little man found the Captain with his eyes at last. And 
snapped Hke a mongrel held where it cannot move. 

"It wasn't you what got shoved. It was me.^^ 

"Oh." The Captain lowered his eyes as though he were, sud- 
denly, the guilty man. Then he grinned. "yli^/z," he said quizzically, 
half sympathy and half surprise, "Fd hâte to hâve you get mad at 
me for something worth getting mad about." 

The next man was half-leaning, half-crouching against the black- 
and-wliite hnes of the wall. He was a blond of perhaps twenty- 
two. 

"Stand up there!" The Captain sounded like a public-school 
principal on examination day. 

The blond stood as best he could. The knuckles were clenched 
whitely; the lips were bloodless. And the tip of the nose as white as 
new snow. The Captain relented. 

"You must be hitting it pretty hard." 

The boy 's lips moved inaudibly toward the mike; it was hard to 
tell whether he was trying to speak or merely wetting his lips in 
préparation for saying something. 

"What do you take?" 

The answer could not be heard; the lips could not be read. 

"Speak up, son. Do you sell it too?" 

This time the answer came faintly, from somewhere in Cloud- 
land. 

"Once — upon — a — time." 

"How's last Tuesday afternoon — is that once upon a timp?" 

The boy nodded solemnly, dreamily, with a slow-motion gravity 
ail his own. 

Yes. 

Any Tuesday afternoon in Cloudland was once upon a time. 

163 



NELSON ALGREN 

The next man in line was a high yellow in his early thirties. 

"What you hère for?" 

"Ha vin' whiskey in my home." 

"You too? I thought they repealed that law. You don't carry a 
gun, do you?" 

"No sir." 

"Do you keep one on the premises?" 

"I just keep it. I don't carry it. ï leave it on the premises." 

"But there was a .38 on the premises?" 

"I wasn't nowhere near it." 

"I didn't ask you how close you were. I asked whether it was 
there." 

"Yes sir. That 's what they claims. l'm in business. I got to hâve 
one." 

"I thought you said it was your home. Now it's a business. Make 
up your mind, you can't beat both raps. It'll go lighter on you if 
you stick to the whiskey story. What you using a private home for 
business for anyhow? What business?" 

"The True- American." 

"What's thatr 

"Social 'n athletic club." 

"With fîve women?" 

"That's the social part." 

"I see. Was afraid you'd tell me they were lady wrestlers." 

The woman in the back giggled at the Captain's humor. 

"No sir. A mixed club, thafs what we got." 

"I see. Good clean fun and lots of sunshine?" 

"Yes sir. Meets in my home. We go on hikes." 

"Now it's a home again. You're not selling whiskey there then 
after ail?" 

"Oh no sir. I give it away. They my guestsT 

"Which one of your guests filed the numbers ofï that .38 for 
you? One of the lady wrestlers?" 

"Nobody. I bought it that way." 

"Now we're getting somewhere for a change. Ever been in trou- 
ble before?" 

"No sir," the high yellow déclare d. 

The Captain shook his head sadly, to indicate his résignation at 
human mendacity. "You know, Fil begin to think you aren't telling 

164 



THE CAPTAIN IS A GARD 

the whole truth to thèse people. You're down hère for strongarm 
robbery on June i, 1934. Did that happen on one of your hikes?" 

"I paid a fine." 

"Did you pay a fine for that no-bill for murder in 1928?" 

The high yellow started almost imperceptibly. The Captain had 
reached him where he lived — in his courage. You could see him 
visibly trying to pull that courage together, like a fighter holding 
his guts with one hand while arranging a fixed grin for his opponent 
to show he isn't hurt. You can tell when they're hurt when they try 
to smile. 

"I didn't kill her." 

"You know what I mean though?" 

"It's a différent case." 

"You know what I mean though." 

The Negro's face seemed burned a rust-yellow across the fore- 
head and nose, the way a man's face is left when he is lifted out of 
the chair. He stared straight into the mike, deep shadows under the 
eyes and the eyes themselves two yellow flares. 

"Yes sir," he said at last. And waited tensely for the mike to 
move. The yellow flares began to die down in the eyes; when 
they were faded to pinpoints the Captain spoke leisurely, like a man 
with nowhere to go and the whole night to kill. 

"Tell us more about it." 

Silence. 

"If you don't tell it l'il read it." 

The Negro's eyes were dead embers now, and his voice a dying 
man's voice. He spoke without emphasis, in a dead-level monotone, 
and — at the fîrst moment — with the dead woman's voice: 

"Us two live t'gether 'n we sort of separated 'n got t' goin' t'gether 
again 'n we were drinkin' t'gether 'n I wanted t' go home n' figures 
l'd bluff her, teach her a lesson, scare her so's she wouldn't run ofï 
^n always come home with me when it was time. I puUed the gun 'n 
leveled it 'n she grabbed for it 'n it went ofî 'n shot her in the stom- 
ach 'n when I went t' see her at the hospital she took my hand 'n 
say, 'Honey, you shouldn't a done it,' 'n that was ail she ever say." 

"You're a bad man. You been going wrong fifteen years." 

The mike was moved to the next man. 

Next was a redheaded Irish boy of eighteen, with teeth like piano 
keys. 

165 



NELSON ALGREN 

"What's your trouble, Red?'' 

*'Left a jimmy in a gas-station door." 

"At night?" 

*'No sir. Daytime." 

"Didn't hâve criminal intent, did you?'* 

"No sirr 

"You weren't going to break into that station when it got dark, 
were you?" 

"I just had it on my mind." 

"Where were you arrested?" 

"I was walkin' on the rocks off 39th. The park officer called me 
over." 

"Where were you going when he called you?" 

"Home." 

"Then you got it ofï your mind? " 

The redhead grinned amiably. He had it ofï his mind. 

While the mike was being moved the Captain turned to his audi- 
ence with the délibération of a sideshow barker at a county fair. 

"I want you to look close at this next man, ladies 'n gentlemen. 
This, let me tell you, is a sweetheart. Folks, meet Hardrocks 
O'Connor. Meet the folks, O'Connor." 

A flat-faced félon in his late fifties, with no bridge to his nose 
and a bulge for a forehead. The voice hoarse from a hundred cells. 
You could tell he hit the bottle hard and you could tell he'd done 
his time the hard way. In the hard places. And still trying to make 
it the hard way. It was in his posture and in his voice; in the lean set 
of the jaw and across his punched-in mug like a brand. 

"Tell us about yourself, Morning Glory." 

O'Connor's mouth split when he said: 

"Take 'em west yerself." 

The Captain knew when he had a prize: he took Hardrocks west 
for five solid pages. Danbury, Waupun, Jefï City, Wetumpka, 
Leavenworth, Huntsville. For a phony bunco game. For a dice 
game with "missouts." For violation of the Narcotics Act. For 
forgery, for the pocketbook game, for the attention racket, for 
using the mails to sell a pair of missouts, for bigamy, for vag, for 
impersonating an officer, for breach of promise, for contributing to 
delinquency of a minor, for defrauding an innkeeper, for indécent 

î66 



THE CAPTAIN IS A GARD 

exposure, for tapping a gas main. And for the phony bunco game, 
right back where he'd started a lifetime before. 

Two years, ten days, six days, six months, thirty days, a year and 
a day, fîfty-dollar fine, given a floater out of the state in Lubbock, 
only to run into two years at hard labor on the pea farm at Hunts- 
ville for taking a rancher with a phony roulette wheel at a McAllen 
County fair. 

"Why didn't you get out of the state like they gave y ou a chance 
to do at Lubbock instead of running on down to McAllen?" The 
Captain was merely curions. 

"Had a deal on down there." 

The Captain turned to his listeners. 

'Tive more pages, ladies 'n gentlemen — 'n not one a crime of 
violence. He'll sell you a little dope, take a little hisself, sell you an 
oilwell 'r take a merry widow for a ride on her insurance money. 
But he won't use a gun. He'll spot a beggar paddlin' down the 
Street when he has t' get out of town in a hurry — but he'll stop 'n 
try t' take the beggar." This spectacle of a man who could steal for 
a lifetime without once doing so by force afïected the good Cap- 
tain as an obscenity. "C'mon down hère," he ordered. "Let the 
people see you so's they'll remember you. How'd you get your 
nose bust, Hardrocks? Trying to take the same sucker twice?" 

O'Connor paused on a step from the stage to rub the place where 
the bridge of his nose had once been. 

"Had the bone took out when I was twenty. Wanted t' be a 
fîghter." He hesitated as though he were about to add something. 

"Keep movin', Hardrocks. No speeches. AU the way down front. 
There, that's as near as we want you. Take ofï that cap. That's how 
he looks without a cap, folks. Now put it back on. That's how 
he looks with it on. Walk around, Dafîodil. We want to see how 
you look when you walk." 

O'Conner began a deliberate pacing: fîve steps forward and fîve 
steps back. And turned heavily at an imagined door, His life was 
a bull-pen, and he turned within it like a gelded bull; five dogged 
steps forward and fîve dogged steps back. 

"That's enough of that, O'Connor. Now stand still and turn 
around with your cap in your right hand." 

The old man turned, the sheen of his worn brown suit showing 
in the glare from above like light on an aging animal's hide. 

167 



NELSON ALGREN 

"That's how he looks with his back turned, folks. Put your cap 
on, Hardrocks. No, don't turn around yet. That's how he looks 
when he's walking away with your money. Ail right O'Connor, 
back on the platform." 

O'Connor returned slowly to his position before the mike. 

"What did y ou say y ou were arrested for, Hardrocks? Stealing 
from a blind man?" 

"I wasn't arrested. I walked into the station 'n give myself up. 
I can't make it no more. I want 'em f corne 'n get me, I want 'em 
ail t' come 'n get me. Anyone who wants me, tell 'em t' come 'n 
get me. I can't make it no more." 

The woman in the back stopped tittering. The Captain cocked 
his head to one side in mild surprise. The young men, on either side 
of the hardest one of them ail, looked straight out over the lights 
as though the old man was speaking for their futures as well as for 
his past. 

"I been a stumblin' block, I been a obstacle to the Republic. I 
done it ail wrong, I got hard-boiled too young. I got kicked around 
too soon. I was a orphan 'n got kicked around. Fm an old man, I 
got nobody, I can't make it no more — " Hardrocks O'Connor was 
crying. 

The next man was a young Negro in a gabardine, heavy in the 
shoulders and lean in the shanks. 

"What you hère for, Ready-Money?" 

"Don't know." 

"Then you'U need a lawyer to tell you. How old was the girl?" 

"She looked like sixteen." 

"Yeh. But she was eleven. Are you on parole?" 

"Yes sir." 

"Goodbye." 

The last man in the line was a dwarf with the head and torso de- 
velopment of a man of average height. He stood two inches short 
of the four-foot mark on the black-and-white diagram behind him 
and looked to be in his early forties. An ugly spécimen. 

"What'sitfor, Shorty?" 

"Just a pickup." 

"Pickup for what?" 

"Don't know. Suspicion I s'pose." 

"What you sit seven years in State ville for, Shorty?" 

i68 



THE CAPTAIN IS A CARD 

"Suspicion." 

"Isn't seven years on suspicion a little severe?" 

The dwarf's voice was as shrill as a ten-year-old's. 

"Yes sir. It was severe." 

"Ever get boosted through a transom, Shorty?" 

"Yes sirr 

"Who boosted you?" 

"A frien'. He's still settin'." 

"How many places you rob that way, Shorty?" 

"I ferget." 

"You shouldn't. You're still in the business. How much time you 
done?" 

"Year 'n a day once 'n once three years." 

"You don't count Stateville?" 

"You said that one." 

The women tittered their enjoyment of the little man's confes- 
sion. A dwarf, standing between a seven-year-long shadow and a 
new shadow just as long. Perhaps it was funny to be so little while 
transoms were so high. And shadows were so long. Perhaps they 
saw no shadow. Perhaps they saw no man. 

Next was a middle-aged Serb, splayfooted, with the hands of a 
stockyards skinner. He stood with his naked forearms folded. 

"What you hère for this time, Rutu?" 

"Neigh — hors complain." 

"Again? What about?" 

"Same oV t'ing. I fight." 

"Who were you fighting with this time?" 

"Same oV t'ing. Wid wife." 

"Hell, that's no crime neither. Next." 

"I went and let somebody use my car." 
"That puts you in, too. Next." 

"What's your trouble, next man?" 
"I beg your pardon?" 

"Don't beg my pardon," the Captain quipped. "Beg the pardon 
of the woman whose purse you snatched." 
"I didn't snatch it." 
"How'd the ofEcers find it in your room?" 

169 



NELSON ALGREN 

"I stole it." 

"Oh, that's différent. I beg your pardon. D/Vcharged." 

The next man was a paunchy character with the professionally 
friendly aspect of a floorwalker or beauty-shop operator. His iron- 
grey hair had been recently marcelled. 

"What you hère for, Flash?" 

"Just riding in a cab is ail." 

"What did you hâve in your pocket?" 

"Just a toy cap pistol was ail." 

"What was that for — Fourth of July?" 

"I was on my way to give it to my little nephew in Hammond 
for a Christmas présent." 

"How many cabs you take with that toy gun, Santa?" 

"Just the one I was riding in. ï don't know what corne over me." 

"Corne off it, Coneroo. How many you hold up altogether?" 

"Nine." 

"I said altogether." 

"Oh. Altogether. Twenty-eight." 

"You know what happens to habituais in Michigan?" 

"Yes sir. They get life." 

"Too bad you didn't wait to get to Chicago to stick up that 
driver. We call that a misdemeanor hère. Do you think crime 
pays?" 

The floorwalker retired gracefully from the mike and adjusted 
his cravat. 

The last man was a Negro of perhaps nineteen, in a torn and 
bloodstained shirt and with one arm in a cast. He had Mongolian 
features, the cheekbones set high and widely — to protect the eyes 
— the eyes slanted slightly and the skin like tawny parchment. The 
Captain explaine d. 

"This is the sweetheart who shot Sergeant Shannon Friday night. 
Tell it to the people the way you told it to us, Memphis." 

"Ah was out look'n fer somebody t' stick up n' had m' gun 
handy 'n he come along, that's ail." 

"Where was this?" 

"South side of 59th Street. Ah was crossin' over t' the north side 
when ah saw Shannon, he wasn't in uniform." 

"Did he call after you?" 

"Yes sir. He say 'Hey Buddy, wait a minute,' 'n he had some- 

170 



THE CAPTAIN IS A GARD 

thin' in his hand. It looked like a gun 'n ah pulled out m' pistol 'n 
stahted t' fire. He shot 'n hit me in the right ahm 'n ah ran 'n tried 
t' iind some place t' hide." 

"You're sure you weren't out gunning for Sergeant Shannon?" 

"Oh no sir." 

"But you knew him from before?" 

"From a lo-o-ong time." 

"You know he may die?" 

"That's what they tell me." 

"Aren't worried much about it though, are you?" 

"It was me 'r him." 

"How'd they fînd you?" 

"Ah leaned on a mail-box, ah was bleedin' pretty bad. Ah left 
stains on th' box 'n some of m' own people seen them 'n toi' a 
officer." The boy seemed more saddened by that single circum- 
stance than by either the imminence of Shannon's death or of his 
own. Like a thing repeated many times in an effort to believe and 
accept: 

"My oion people." 

And his voice was heavy with shame for them. 

"How do you feel about getting the chair, Boy?" 

"Don't care one way 'r another. Don't feel nothin', good 'r bad. 
Just feel a little low is ail. Knew ah'd never get t' be twenty-one 
anyhow." 

The line turned and shuffled restlessly through the door to the 
cells. The overhead lights went out one by one, till even the titter- 
ing women were gone. And nothing remained in the showup room 
but the sounds of the city, coming up from below. 

The great trains howling from track to track ail night. The taut 
and télégraphie murmur of ten thousand city wires, drawn most 
cruelly against a city sky. The rush of city waters, beneath the 
city streets. 

The passionate passing of the night's last El. 



171 



H. L. Mencken 



AN EVENING ON THE HOUSE 



Scholar, wit, journalist, editor, iconoclast, social critic and de- 
nouncer of the species "boobus Americanus," Mencken was an active 
brawling spirit among the New Realists of the first three décades of 
this century and subsequently came to personify the radical American 
of the twenties. 

He was born in Baltimore, of German descent, and lived and 
worked there for the Baltimore Sun. With George Jean Nathan he 
edited Smart Set from about the middle of the First World War 
until the magazine's démise in the early 1920's; later Mencken and 
Nathan founded the American Mercury ( 1924), famous for its articles 
debunking American manners and culture. 

Perhaps his most famous book is The American Language, and it 
made of him, according to critic Alistair Cooke, "the classical 
authority on the English of the United States." The intensity of his 
concern for language and for journalistic craftsmanship was equaled 
only by the fury of his criticism of the pretensions and pious 
hypocrisies he saw buried in the American family, church, and state. 

In later years, Mencken's biting, flamboyant style mellowed some- 
what, and in his memoirs, completed in the form of a three-volume 
autobiography in 1943, his lucid and ribald prose softened its attack 
on the American citizen without losing any of the purity of its 
language. 

"An Evening on the House," which appeared in the December 
1943 Esquire, belongs to this later, autobiographical period, although 
it was not included in the three volumes. The same is true of another 
autobiographical article, "Obsequies in the Grand Manner," which 
appeared in Esquire the subséquent month. Mencken's "Downfall of 
a Revolutionary," which appeared in Esquire in September 1940, was 
reprinted as the first sélection in Heathen Days, one of the three 
autobiographical books. "An Evening on the House" has not been 
coUected and is reprinted hère for the first time. 



IN THE DAYS OF TROLLEY PARKS, NOW GONE FOREVER, THERE WAS 

almost as much spread between park and park, culturally speaking, 

172 



AN EVENING ON THE HOUSE 

as you will now find between night clubs. Some, catering to what 
was then called the Moral Elément, showed ail the hallmarks of 
Chautauqua, Asbury Park and Lake Mohonk, with nothing 
stronger on tap than ginger aie, soda pop and sarsaparilla, and no 
divertisement more provocative to the hormones than quoit-pitch- 
ing and the flying horses. But in others there was a frank appeal to 
the baser nature of mankind, and at the bottom of the scale were 
some that, by the somewhat prissy standards of those days, were 
véritable sewers of wickedness. One of the latter sort was operated, 
in the Baltimore I adorned as a young newspaper reporter, by a 
cashiered police sergeant named Julius Olsen — a man who believed, 
as he would often say, in living and letting live. His place lay at the 
terminus of a Class d trolley line that meandered down the harbor 
side to the shore of one of the affluents of the Patapsco River. Most 
of his customers, however, did not patronize this trolley line, which 
was outfîtted with senile cars that often jumped the track, and 
shook the bones out of their passengers when they didn't. Indeed, 
it was rare to encounter an actual Baltimorean in the place, which 
had the name of Sunset Park. Nearly ail the maies who frequented 
it were sailors from ships berthed along or anchored in the river, 
and nine-tenths of the females were adventuresses from either the 
Norfolk, Virginia, région, then f amous throughout the Eastern sea- 
board for its levantine barbarities, or the lower tier of Pennsylvania 
counties, where the Vice Trust, backed by Wall Street, maintained 
agents in every hamlet. 

If there was any among the lady visitors to Sunset who had not 
lost her honest name long before she ever saw it, the fault was not 
Julius Olsen's, for he had a ground rule rigidly excluding ail others. 
Every evening at eight o'clock he would take his place at the garish 
entrance to his pleasure ground, and give his eye to each female 
who presented herself, whether alone or with an escort. If there 
was anything in her aspect that raised a suspicion of chastity he 
would challenge her at once, and hold her up at the gâte until she 
convinced him that her looks were false to her inner nature. Once, 
as I stood there with him — for I greatly admired his insight into 
such things and was eager to learn its secrets — a young couple got 
ofï the trolley car and made as if to enter. To my unpracticed eye 
they looked to be the run-of-the-mine yahoos and nothing more: 
I could detect no stigmata of chemical purity in the lady. But Julius 

173 



H. L. MENCKEN 

saw deeper than I did, and as the couple came abreast of his sentry 
post his heavy paw fell upon the shoulder of the young man, and 
his eyebrows drew together in a fearfui frown. "What in hell do 
y ou mean," he roared, **to bring a nice young girl to such a goddam 
dump as this? Ain't you got no goddam sensé at ^//?" The young 
fellow, amazed and abashed, stood speechless, and JuHus bellowed 
on. "Don't you know," he demanded, "where you are at? Ain't 
you ever heerd tell of Sunset Park? Goddam if I ever seen the like 
of it in ail my born days! Do you want a gang of sailors to bash in 
your head and make oiï with your girl? What would you hâve to 
say to her mama if that happened? How would you square your- 
self with her pa? Goddam if I ain't got a mind to bust you one my- 
self . Now you take her home and don't let me see you around hère 
no more. As for yoiH' — turning to the silent and trembling girl — 
"ail I got to say is you better get yourself a better beau. Such damn 
fools as this one is poison to a religions young lady, and don't you 
go telling me that ain't what you are. / know, I do. Now, scat, the 
goddam bothen of you!" 

Whereupon he half bowed and half heaved them onto the wait- 
ing trolley car, and stood by muttering until it started back to the 
city. 

From ail this the maker of snap judgments may conclude that 
Julius was a Puritan at heart — perhaps even that there was a 
Y.M.c.A. secretary hidden in him. Nothing could be more untrue. 
He simply did not want to clutter up his conscience, such as it was, 
with gratuitous and unnecessary burdens. Otherwise he was the 
complète antinomian, and of ail the tough and abandoned trolley 
parks around the periphery of Baltimore, his Sunset was undoubt- 
edly the worst. Every sort of infamy that the vice-crusaders of the 
time denounced, from crap shooting to hoochie-koochie dancing, 
and from the smoking of cigarettes by females — then still contra 
bonos mores — to riotous boozing by both sexes, went on within its 
gâtes, and there was no dilution of thèse carnalities by anything of 
an even remotely respectable nature. If a customer had called for a 
lemonade the waiters would hâve fanned him with the billies they 
carried up their sleeves, and if either of the two comedians in the 
so-called burlesque show that went on in a big shed had ventured 
upon a really clean joke, Julius himself would hâve given him the 
bum's rush. The strip-tease had not been invented in that remote 

174 



AN EVENING ON THE HOUSE 

era, but everything that the fancy of ribald men had yet concocted 
was ofïered. The stock company, like most other such organiza- 
tions, played a loutish version of Krausmeyer^s Alley every night, 
but it was given with variations suggested by the worst conceits of 
whiskey drummers and médical students. The taste of the time 
being for large and billowy women, there was no girl in the chorus 
who weighed less than 170 pounds, and the rear élévation of each 
and every one of them was covered with bruises from head to foot, 
ail made by the slapsticks of the comedians. In the intervais of the 
performance on the stage, thèse ladies were expected to fraternize 
with the customers. This fraternizing consisted mainly in getting 
them as drunk as possible, and then turning them over to scamps 
who dragged them out to a dark spot behind the shed and there 
went through their pockets. When a customer resisted — which 
happened sometimes in the case of sailors — the scamps gave him a 
drubbing, and it was not at ail unheard of for the harbor cops to 
fînd the clay of a jolly jack tar in the adjacent river, especially of a 
Sunday morning, for Saturday night was the big night at Sunset 
Park, as it was at ail such places. 

The land cops, who knew Julius when he was a poor flatf oot like 
themselves and now took a certain amount of fraternal pride in his 
success in life, made occasional raids upon him, but only under 
pressure from reformers, and never with any hope or intent of 
bringing him to heel. Once I was présent when a party of reformers 
undertook a raid in person, with a squad of cops trailing along, 
theoretically to protect them. Julius, who was on watch as usual at 
his front gâte, let them enter unmolested, but they had hardly 
snooped their first snoop before his whole company of goons, maie 
and female, fell upon them, and in two minutes they were in full 
retreat, with the cops following after to clout them as they ran. 
The next day he swore out a warrant for their leader, charging him 
with lifting a diamond sunburst worth 18,000 dollars from one of 
the chorus girls, and under cover of the ensuing uproar their coun- 
ter-charges were forgotten. Julius had a dozen witnesses willing to 
swear that they had seen the reformer throttle the girl with one 
hand and grab the sunburst with the other, and another dozen 
schooled to testify that they had recovered it only by force ma- 
jeure and in the face of wild slashings with a razor by the accused. 
The sunburst itself was brought into court, along with five eut-rate 

175 



H. L. MENCKEN 

jewelers hired to certify to its value, and for a while things looked 
dark for the poor reformer, for he was a Sunday-school super- 
intendent, and Maryland juries, in those days, always said "Guilty" 
to Sunday-school superintendents; but his lawyer fîled a demurrer 
on some obscure ground or other. 

Rather curiously, there was seldom any serions disorder at Sun- 
set Park — that is, within Julius's définition of the term. Now and 
then, to be sure, a sailor ran amuck and attempted to stage an imi- 
tation of some massacre he had seen in Shanghai or Port Said, but 
he seldom got beyond teeing off, for ail of Julius's waiters, as I 
hâve said, were armed with billies, and his head bartender, Jack 
Jamieson, was a retired heavyweight, and worth a thousand men. 
Even the comedians in his show lent a hand when necessary, and 
so did the four musicians who constituted the orchestra — the leader, 
Professor Kleinschmidt, who doubled in piano and violin and fed 
the comedians; the cornet player, George Mullally; the trombonist, 
Billy Wilson; and the drummer, Bing-Bing Thompson, himself a 
reforme d sailor. Juiius himself ne ver entered thèse hurly-burlies, 
but stood on the sidelines to boss his lièges. Even when a customer 
insulted one of the lady help, say by pasting her in the nose or 
biting off an ear, the head of the establishment restrained his natu- 
ral indignation, and let the lex situs prevailing at Sunset Park take 
its course. Only once, indeed, did I ever hear of him forgetting 
himself, and on that occasion I happened to be présent as his guest, 
for he was always very polite to newspaper reporters, as he was to 
détectives, precinct leaders, coroners and other such civic func- 
tionaries. 

It was the opening night of his 1901 season, and I made the un- 
comfortable trolley trip to the park in the company of Leopold 
Bortsch, Totsàufer of the Scharnhorst Brewery, who had to attend 
ex offlcio, for Juiius had Scharnhorst béer on tap. Unfortunately, 
there had been complaints about it of late, as there had been in 
Baltimore proper, for it was then, and had been for years, the worst 
malt liquor ever seen in the town. Leopold himself, who had to 
drink it day in and day out on his tours of customers' saloons, and 
at the innumerable funerals, weddings, wedding anniversaries, 
christenings and confirmations that went on in their familles, was 
constrained to admit, in candid moments, that it was certainly do- 
ing his kidneys no good. But when a Class a customer had an open- 

176 



AN EVENING ON THE HOUSE 

ing, he had to get it down willy-nilly, and at the same time he had 
to foment its consumption by ail the assembled bibuli. For the first 
night of Sunset Park, which in a normal week consumed two hun- 
dred half barrels, he was expected to stage a really royal show, and 
to that end the brewery allowed him i oo dollars to spend over the 
bar. He did not know, as he marched up radiating his best promo- 
tional manner, that there was trouble ahead. Specifîcally, he did 
not know that Julius, succumbing at last to the endless complaints 
about Scharnhorst béer (which had by now become so bad that 
even the Scotch engineers from British ships sometimes gagged at 
it), had resolved to give a look-in to seven other Baltimore brew- 
eries. Nor did he know that ail of their seven brews were already 
on tap at the bar, and that he would find the Totsàufer of each and 
every one lined up before it, to fight him to the death. 

It was a shock, indeed, but Leopold was not one to be easily flab- 
bergasted, and his reply was characteristically prompt and bold. 
The immémorial custom was for a Totsàufer to begin proceedings, 
on such an occasion, by slapping down a five-dollar bill and invit- 
ing ail comers to hâve a béer. Leopold slapped down a ten-spot. 
The seven other Totsàufer, thus challenged, had to respond in 
kind, and they did so with panicky dispatch, each, of course, call- 
ing for his own béer. Jack Jamieson, for the opening night, had 
put in two extra bartenders, which, with his regular aides and him- 
self, made five in ail, but how could five men, within the space of 
fîve minutes, draw i,6oo five-cent glasses of béer? It seemed be- 
yond human power, but I saw them do it, and while they were still 
shoving over the last couple of hundred — by now at least 80 per 
cent foam — Leopold threw down tivo ten-spots, and commanded 
a double ration of Scharnhorst for ail hands. What would the other 
Totsàufer do now? What they would do was instantly apparent. 
Six of the seven saw him with crisp tiventies, and simultaneously 
bellowed orders for wholesale rounds of their own beers. The sev- 
enth, Hugo Blauvogel of the Peerless Brewery, raised by peeling 
ofï three tens. 

The situation, as the war correspondents say, now began to de- 
velop rapidly. Jack Jamieson relieved it somewhat by palming one 
of the twenties and one of the tens, and his chief assistant helped 
a little more by coUaring another of the tens, but there remained 
the sum of 130 dollars for the cash-register, and a simple calcu- 

177 



H. L. MENCKEN 

lation will show that it called for 2,600 beers. Half of them had 
been drawn — God knows how! — before Jack thought of raising 
the price to ten cents, but by that time the bar was packed as 
tightly as a bus-load of war workers, and great gangs of reinforce- 
ments were swarming in from ail parts of the park. When the news 
reached the hoochie-koochie show, where a hundred or more sail- 
ors from the Battleship (censored)^ then on a good-will tour of the 
Atlantic ports, were spooiîng the performers, they arose as one 
man, and began a lumbering sprint for the bar. Passing the show- 
shed on their way, they gave the word to its patrons, and in ten 
seconds the girls and comedians were mauling and jawing one 
another to empty tables. Not a waiter was left on the floor, and in 
half a minute more not a girl or comedian was left on the stage, or 
a musician in the orchestra pit. By the time thèse artists arrived at 
the bar the crowd in front of it was twenty men deep, and ail sem- 
blance of décorum had vanished. The boozers close up were so 
dreadfuliy squeezed and shoved that they could hardly get down 
the beers in front of them, and the later-comers on the outskirts 
fought in despair for better places. The sailors from the battleship, 
forgetting chivalry, tried to climb in over the heads of the ladies of 
the ensemble, and the comedians, musicians and spécial policemen 
slugged it out with the waiters. Only the eight Totsàufer kept their 
heads. They went on throwing money into the whirlpool of suds 
that covered the bar. 

Up to this time Julius himself had been at his usual post at the 
park gâte, searching the faces of inpouring fair ones for vestiges of 
innocence. But he had ears as well as eyes, and though it was a good 
city block from where he stood to the bar, he eventually picked up 
the roar that was mounting there, and made ofï to investigate. The 
crowd, by now, bulged outside the entrance like a swarm of Aies 
around the bung of a molasses barrel, and hundreds of newcomers 
were arriving at a gallop and trying to horn and worm their way 
into it. Julius accordingly ducked to the rear, and entered behind 
the bar. He was just in time to hear Leopold Bortsch give the signal 
for the final catastrophe. It consisted of the one word "Wine!" 
uttered in a kind of scream. "Wine! Wine! Wine!" echoed the 
massed and macerated boozers. "He's opening wine! He's setting 
up wine! Hooray! Hooray! Hooray!" 

178 



AN EVENING ON THE HOUSE 

There were, in fact, but fîve bottles of wine in the whole of 
Sunset Park, and they had been lying in Jack's cooler for three or 
four years, awaiting the remote chance that John W. Gates, Stan- 
ford White or Charlie Schwab might drop around some evening. 
The first two were duds, but the remaining three popped with 
magnificent effect, and as the so-called Champagne seethed out of 
them, the last restraints of civiHzed society blew off, and the whole 
Company yielded to its libido boozalis. In half a minute not a single 
sailor from the battleship was on the floor: they were ail climbing 
over the merchant mariners and other civilians, and in dozens of 
cases a sailor thus climbing had another sailor climbing over hi?n. 
Juiius, with his long expérience as cop and Wirt, saw a riot was in 
the making. "No more!" he roared. "Not another goddam drink! 
The bar is closed!" 

Alas, it was a bad idea, and even if it had been a good one it 
would hâve come too late to work. As well challenge Behemoth 
with a spit-blower or Vesuvius with a squirt. Jack and his col- 
leagues, in obédience to the boss's command, downed their tools 
instantly, but there were plenty of sailors présent, both of the Navy 
and the Merchant Marine, who knew very well which end of a 
bottle had the cork, and they were over the bar in no time at ail. 
Nor were they bound and hobbled, once they got into action, by 
the stiff, professional technique of Jack and company. When an 
outcry for gin came from the far reaches of the crowd they sent a 
whole bottle of it sailing through the air, and then another. Nor 
did they hesitate to use bottles on Julius's own head when he 
plunged into the thick of them, and essayed to lay them out. Of the 
détails of this phase I can give you only hearsay, for I had been 
working my way out since the beginning of the action, and had by 
now taken a rather unfavorable post of observation some distance 
away, behind a large oak tree. But I went to the trouble during 
the weeks and months following to run down the fuU story, and 
thèse were its principal éléments: 

I . The rioters emptied not only every container of lawful goods 
in the park, from béer kegs to sprinklers of Angostura bitters; they 
also got down a barrel of Cologne spirits that Juiius used to sophis- 
ticate his five-cent whiskey, the contents of forty selzer siphons, 
and a bottle of Mickey Finns. 

179 



H. L. MENCKEN 

2. Julius's first act, on recovering his faculties, was to get a re- 
volver from his office and go gunning for the eight Totsàufer. Ail 
had disappeared save Hugo Blauvogel. At him Julius fired six times, 
missing him every time. The next day he served notice on the Bal- 
timore breweries that any Totsàufer sent to the place thereafter 
would be shot like a dog. 

3. The sailors from the Battleship (censored) , returning aboard 
at dawn, took with them fîve of the ladies of the Sunset Park en- 
semble and both comedians. The officer of the deck refused admis- 
sion to the ladies, but apparently swore in the comedians as mess 
attendants, yeomen, chaplain's mates or something of the sort, for 
a couple of weeks later the men of the whole North Atlantic Fleet 
staged a show at the Guantanamo base that is still remembered in 
the Navy as the damndest ever seen. Its stars were two comics of un- 
precedented virtuosity. From the first glimpse of their red noses to 
the last réverbération of their slapsticks, they had the assemblage 
roUing in the aisles. 



180 



Sinclair Lewis 



GENTLEMEN, THIS IS REVOLUTION 



Esquive has had a small army of regular bock reviewers: James 
T. Farrell, Burton Roscoe, William Lyon Phelps, Bennett Cerf, 
Sinclair Lewis, A. J. Liebling, and currently, Dorothy Parker. Sinclair 
Lewis began his reviews in the issue of June 1945 with this review 
of Richard Wright's Black Boy y and three other books on the Negro 
in America: Walter White's A Rising Wmd; Gunnar Myrdal's 
An American Dilemma; and a symposium, What the Negro Wants, 
by several Negro educators and journalists. The enthusiasm with 
which he welcomes this "révolution" against what the subtitle called 
"the old dominion of white smugness" is obvions. 

In his memoir of Sinclair Lewis (Esquire, October 1958) George 
Jean Nathan wrote of Lewis's dedication to the Negro cause: 

"There was only one time when Lewis's humor seemed to hâve 
completely deserted him. This was when he had completed one of 
his later novels, Kingsblood Royal, and had become such a negrophile 
that not only did he collect autographs of Buck and Bubbles and 
Bill Robinson, and other celebrities of the day, but chose his Negro 
chauffeur, Joseph, as his constant companion and bosom friend. He 
introduced him into what, he had heard and regarded, was fashionable 
Society. He furthermore became so touchy on the subject of his new 
comrades that he quarreled with any of his former friends who 
carelessly ventured to refer to them in slangy terms. One such was 
his old friend Mencken, who had sent him a box of burnt cork with 
the suggestion that Red use it when next he turned actor." 

Lewis's last review for Esquire was in December 1945, when he 
stopped to "go back to work on a novel." Kingsblood Royal was 
published in 1947. 



BLACK BOY, THE STORY OF HIS OWN YOUTH IN THE SOUTH BY RICHARD 

Wright, the enormously talented young Negro who also wrote 
Native Son, has been greeted by several placidly busy white re- 
viewers and by a couple of agitated Negro reviewers as betraying 
too much "émotion," too much "bitterness." 

181 



SINCLAIR LEWIS 

Now this is the story of a colore d boy who, just yesterday, 
found in his native community not merely that he was penalized 
for having the same qualities that in a white boy would hâve 
warmed his neighbors to universal praise — the quahties of courage, 
energy, curiosity, refusai to be subservient, the impulse to record 
life in words — but that he was in danger of disapproval, then of 
beatings, then of being killed, for thèse qualities, for being "up- 
pity." Not bitterness but fear charges the book, and how this 
young crusader can be expected to look back only a few years to 
the quiet torture with anything except hatred is beyond me. 

When we hâve a successful coniedy by an ex-prisoner about 
the kindness and humor of the warders in a German concentration 
camp, then I shall expect Mr. Wright to mellow and to speak 
amiably of the teachers who flattened him, his colored neighbors 
and relatives who denounced him, the merchants who cheated 
him, the white fellow-mechanics who threatened him for wanting 
to leam their skills, and the hbrarian who suspected him — quite 
rightly — of reading that militant and bewhiskered Bolshevik, that 
polluter of temples and Chambers of Commerce, Comrade H. L. 
Mencken. 

There has recently appeared, at the same time as Black Boy, the 
skilled and important report by the secretary of the National As- 
sociation for the Advancement of Colored People, my friend 
Walter White, upon what has been happening to American Negro 
soldiers in our camps at home and in England, and at the battle- 
front in Italy and Africa. There are in this report numerous exact 
incidents of Jim Crowism lugged into our Army of Democracy. 
The main impressions that come out of reading it was the con- 
tinued ségrégation of Negro soldiers from their white comrades 
in Red Cross clubs and even in adjacent villages, and the fact that, 
except for a few sectors in which Negroes hâve brilliantly fought 
and flown, they hâve been restricted to labor units instead of being 
truste d as fighters. 

Soldier workers, lugging supplies ashore during landings, or 
driving trucks or repairing roads under fire, get killed just as fre- 
quently — it may even be just as painfully — as the white fighters, 
but there is no crédit in it. They are expected to live like dogs and 
not even to die as heroes. 

182 



GENTLEMEN, THIS IS REVOLUTION 

The assertions of Mr. White are amply backed up by a woman, 
a white woman, a woman from a Navy family, in another just- 
issued book, Jim Crouo Gronjos Up, by Ruth Danenhower Wil- 
son. 

If there had appeared only thèse three books, thèse three disturb- 
ing Border Incidents, they would still be enough to make the wise 
observer fear that a révolution in Negro aiïairs is threatened. But 
one may go beyond them to a score of other related books pub- 
lished in the past three years, and if America can possibly take the 
time from its study of comic strips to discover even the titles of 
thèse books, it may reaHze that this is a révolution, and that it is not 
coming — it is hère. 

The unwritten manifesto of this révolution states that the Negro, 
backed by a number of whites in every section of the land, is fin- 
ished with being classed as not quite human; that he is no longer 
humble and patient — and unlettered; and that an astonishingly 
large group of Negro scholars and journalists and artists are ex- 
pressing their resolution with courage and skill. They are no longer 
"colored people." They are people. 

Lillian Smith's novel, Strange Fruit, still a best seller and as 
such revealing new audiences, is not merely a small tragedy about 
two lovers separated by a color Une which bothered everybody 
except the lovers themselves. It is a condensation of the entire his- 
tory of one-tenth of our population. 

That amusing and amazingly informative book, New World 
A-Coming, by Roi Ottley, published in 1943, is not just a report of 
the new Negro life in Harlem. It is a portent of an entire new life 
for ail American Negroes, and it was written by what is naïvely 
known as a "colored man" — that is, a man who has by nature the 
fine rich skin that the rest of us try to acquire by expensive winter 
trips to Florida. 

And the 1943 biography of Dr. George Washington Car ver by 
Rackham Holt — who, like Lillian Smith, is very much the White 
Lady — portrays, on the positive side of the question, what one 
Negro could do, given any chance at ail, even so small a chance 
that to a white man it would hâve seemed a balk. Dr. Carver, whose 
discovery of the food and the plastics to be found in the once 
disenfranchised peanut was salvation for large sections of the 
South, was the greatest agricultural chemist of our time. It is 

183 



SINCLAIR LEWIS 

doubtful whether any flamboyant soldier or statesman or author 
bas donc more solid good for America than this Negro, the child 
of slaves. 

But in one thing the intellectual or just the plain reasoning Negro 
today bas broken away from tbe doctrines of Dr. Car ver. Tbis 
newcomer bas progressed or seriously retrogressed, wbicbever you 
prefer. He is no longer, like Dr. Carver, ecstatic witb gratitude 
to tbe wbite men wbo permit bim tbe singular privilège of enabling 
tbem to make millions of dollars. 

To sucb innocent readers as bave not known tbat tbe Negro 
doesn't really like tbings as tbey are, sucb as bave been sbocked 
by tbe "bitterness" of Mr. Wrigbt's Black Boy, tbere is to be 
recommended a book mucb more sbocking. But bere tbe sbocks 
are communicated by grapbs and columns of figures and grave 
cbapters of sociology, wbicb add up to exactly tbe same doctrines 
as Mr. Wrigbt's. 

Tbis is An American Dile?mna, a 1,483-page treatise by Profes- 
sor Gunnar Myrdal of Sweden and a staff of American assistants. 
Mr. Myrdal was invited by tbe Carnegie Corporation to come to 
America precisely because be was a foreigner, and less subject to 
our own préjudices. 

Anyone wbo reads tbrougb tbis vast work will really know 
sometbing about tbe identity and tbe social position of tbe Negro, 
and anyone wbo desires to "argue tbe question" is invited to read 
it, wbetber be was born in Maine or Mississippi. Probably no otber 
book bas more exact information, more ricbness of Negro lore. 
Hère is bis complex origin, wbereby tbe yardman wbom you tbink 
so clownisb may bave in bim tbe blood of Arabian princes as well 
as of Bantu warriors; bere are bis économie status today, bis reli- 
gion and culture, bis past and présent sbare in politics, bis social 
conflicts, bis actual and possible jobs, bis dollars-and-cents budget 
today. It is ail as impersonal as penicilbn, and as powerful. 

To tbis sober pair of volumes sbould be added tbe enligbtenment 
and stimulation and considérable entertainment in a book pub- 
lisbed a few montbs ago by tbat excellent Soutbern institution, tbe 
University of Nortb Carolina Press, at Cbapel Hill; a book called 

184 



GENTLEMEN, THIS IS REVOLUTION 

What the Negro Wants. In this, fourteen distinguished Negro 
writers such as Langston Hughes, A. Philip Randolph, Dr. 
W. E. B. Du Bois, Mary Bethune, Roy Wilkins tell precisely what 
they think of it ail. 

They are ail serious, honest, and informed, but among them I 
prefer George Schuyler of the Pittsburgh Courier ^ who, despite 
his wit and easy urbanity, is perhaps the most serious of the lot. 
How any person so cultured that he can add two and two and get 
as much as three out of it can read the deft pages of Mr. Schuyler 
and still accept any of the Comical Coon, the Dancing Dinge, the 
Grateful Bellhop, the "Mah brethrens. Ah absquatulates tuh con- 
sider" theory of Negro culture, I cannot understand. 

His thesis, bland as dynamite soup, is that there is no Negro 
Problem at ail, but there decidedly is a Caucasian Problem; that 
of the universal American-English-Belgian-Dutch-French-German- 
Portuguese exploiter who smugly talks about the "white man's 
burden" while he squats on the shoulders of ail the "colored men" 
in the world. Mr. Schuyler suggests that in Kenya and Burma and 
Jamaica and Java and Peking just as much as in America thèse 
colored races are now efïectively sick of it. He is, however, too 
polite to point up the facts that there are a lot more of them than 
there are of us, and that a machine gun does not inquire into the 
complexion of the man who uses it. 

Hère, ail of thèse books begin to fit into a pattern. This sugges- 
tion of a universal revolt against the domination of white smugness 
is also the conclusion of A Rising Wind, even though the author 
is so gay and gentle a leader as Walter White. Quoting from Pearl 
Buck, another white woman who is not content to be nothing 
more than that, Mr. White indicates with what frightening care 
the entire "colored world" — including Japan — is watching and 
reporting upon our treatment of our own Negroes in Army and 
Navy, in hôtel and bus, in factory and pulpit and congressional 
committee room. 

Gentlemen, my pukka English-Irish-Yank-Swede-Dutch breth- 
ren, it behooves us to find out what this larger part of the world 
is thinking and most articulately saying about us. A slight injec- 
tion of knowledge may hurt our feelings, but it may save our lives. 

I am delighted that in my first column for that stately household 

185 



SINCLAIR LEWIS 

compendium, Esquire, I hâve been able to uphold the standards of 
refined and uncontaminated rhetoric and, hère in my ivory tower 
in Duluth, to keep from taking sides and to conceal my personal 
views upon Messrs. White, Wright, Schuyler and Myrdal. Let ur. 
by ail means avoid distastefui subjects and think only of the bright- 
est and best. 



î86 



J. D. Saliwcr 



THIS SANDWICH HAS NO MAYONNAISE 



J. D. Salinger's "This Sandwich Has No Mayonnaise," which ap- 
peared in Esquire in October 1945, marked the author's second ap- 
pearance in the magazine. His first was "The Heart of a Broken 
Story," published in September 1941. In the "Backstage with Esquire''' 
notes on the contributors, Salinger said: "I am a dash man and not a 
miler, and it is probable that I will never write a novel." He of course 
then went on to write his well-remembered The Catcher in the Rye, 
about Holden Cauliield, a figure who in this story is already dead, or 
at least missing-in-action. This is especially interesting because 
Salinger does the same thing again in his saga of the Glass family. "A 
Perfect Day for Bananafish" is one of the earliest of thèse stories, and 
there Seymour — really the key figure in the Glass family — is a 
suicide. Salinger's characters seem to hâve a life outside of the 
stories in which they appear, as if Salinger was just giving us bits and 
pièces out of the continuity of their lives, with things happening to 
them that no reader knows about. "This Sandwich Has No Mayon- 
naise" takes place ajter the end of The Catcher in the Rye, and in it 
Holden Caulfîeld's brother remembers things that happened before 
The Catcher in the Rye. It is an early example of Salinger's methods 
of developing his sagas, and it is hère reprinted for the first time. 



I AM INSIDE THE TRUCK, TOO, SITTING ON THE PROTECTION STRAP, 

trying to keep out of the crazy Georgia rain, waiting for the lieu- 
tenant from Spécial Services, waiting to get tough. Fm scheduled 
to get tough any minute now. There are thirty-four men in this 
hère veehickle, and only thirty are supposed to go to the dance. 
Four must go. I plan to knife the first four men on my right, simul- 
taneously singing Off We Go Into the Wild Blue Fonder at the 
top of my voice, to drown out their silly cries. Then FU assign a 
détail of two men (preferably collège graduâtes) to push them off 
this hère veehickle into the good wet Georgia red clay. It might be 
worth forgetting that Fm one of the Ten Toughest Men who ever 

187 



J. D. SALINGER 

sat on this protection strap. I could lick my weight in Bobbsey 
Twins. Four must go. From the truck of the same name . . . 
Choose yo' pahtnuhs for the Virginia Réel! . . . 

And the rain on the canvas top cornes down harder than ever. 
This rain is no friend of mine. It's no friend of mine and thèse 
other gents (four of whom must go). Maybe it's a friend of Kath- 
erine Hepburn's, or Sarah Palfrey Fabyan's, or Tom Heeney's, or 
of ail the good solid Gréer Garson fans waiting in Une at Radio 
City Music Hall. But it's no buddy of mine, this rain. It's no buddy 
of the other thirty-three men (four of whom must go). 

The character in the front of the truck yells at me again. 

"What?" I say. I can't hear him. The rain on the top is killing 
me. I don't even want to hear him. 

He says, for the third time, "Let's get this show on the road! 
Bring on the women! " 

"Gotta wait for the lieutenant," I tell him. I feel my elbow get- 
ting wet and bring it in out of the downpour. Who swiped my 
raincoat? With ail my letters in the left-hand pocket. My letters 
from Red, from Phoebe, from Holden. From Holden. Aw, listen, 
ï don't care about the raincoat being swiped, but how about leav- 
ing my letters alone? He's only nineteen years old, my brother is, 
and the dope can't reduce a thing to a humor, kill it off with a sar- 
casm, can't do any thing but listen hectically to the maladjusted 
little apparatus he wears for a heart. My missing-in-action brother. 
Why don't they leave people's raincoats alone? 

l've got to stop thinking about it. Think of something pleasant, 
Vincent old troll. Think about this truck. Make believe this is not 
the darkest, wettest, most misérable Army truck you hâve ever 
ridden in. This truck, you've got to tell yourself, is full of roses and 
blondes and vitamins. This hère is a real pretty truck. This is a 
swell truck. You were lucky to get this job tonight. When you get 
back from the dance — Choose yo' pahtnuhs, folks! — you can write 
an immortal poem about this truck. This truck is a potential poem. 
You can call it, "Trucks I Hâve Rode In," or "War and Peace," or 
*'This Sandwich Has No Mayonnaise." Keep it simple. 

Aw, listen. Listen, rain. This is the ninth day you've been rain- 
ing. How can you do this to me and thèse thirty-three men (four 
of whom must go) ? Let us alone. Stop making us sticky and lonely. 

i88 



THIS SANDWICH HAS NO MAYONNAISE 

— Somebody is talking to me. The man is within knifing dis- 
tance. (Four must go.) "What?" I say to him. 

"Where ya from, Sarge?" the boy asks me. " — Your arm's gettin' 
wet." 

I take it in again. "New York," I tell him. 

"So'm I! Whereabouts?" 

"Manhattan. Just a couple of blocks from the Muséum of Art." 

"I live on Valentine Avenue," the boy says. "Know where that 
is?" 

"In The Bronx, isn't it?" 

"Naa! Near The Bronx. Near The Bronx, but it ain't in it. It's 
still Manhattan." 

Near The Bronx, but isn't in it. Let's remember that. Let's not 
go around telling people they live in The Bronx when in the first 
place they don't live there, they live in Manhattan. Let's use our 
heads, buddy. Let's get on the bail, buddy. 

"How long hâve you been in the Army?" I ask the boy. He is a 
private. He is the soakingest wettest private in the Army. 

"Four months. I come in through Dix and then they ship me 
down to Mee-ami. Ever been in Mee-ami?" 

"No," I lie. "Pretty good?" 

"Pretty good?'''' He nudges the guy on his right. "Tell 'im, 
Fergie." 

"What?" says Fergie, looking wet, frozen and fouled. 

"Tell the Sarge about Mee-ami. He wantsa know if it's any good 
or not. Tell 'im." 

Fergie looks at me. "Ain'tya never been there, Sarge?" — You 
poor misérable sap of a sergeant. 

"No. Pretty good down there?" I manage to ask. 

"What a town," says Fergie softly. "You could get anything you 
want down there. You could really amuse yourself. ï mean you 
could really amuse yourself. Not like this hère hole. You couldn't 
amuse yourself in this hère hole if you tried." 

"We lived in a hôtel," the boy from Valentine Avenue says. 
"Before the War you probly paid five, six dollars a day for a room 
in the hôtel we was at. One roomr 

"Showers," says Fergie, in a bittersweet tone which Abelard, 
during his last years, might hâve used to mention Héloïse's handle. 

189 



J. D. SALINGER 

"You were ail the time as clean as a kid. Down there you had four 
guys to a room and you had thèse showers in between. The soap 
was free in the hôtel. Any kinda soap you wanted. Not G.I." 

"You're alive, aiiftcha?^' the character in the front of the truck 
yells at Fergie. I can't see his face. 

Fergie is above it ail. "Showers," he repeats. "Two, three times 
a day I took 'em." 

"I used to sell down there," a guy in the middle of the truck an- 
nounces. I can barely see his face in the darkness. "Memphis and 
Dallas are the best towns in Dixie, for my dough. In the winter- 
time Miami gets too crowded. It used to drive you crazy. In the 
places it was worth goin', you could hardly get a seat or anything." 

"It wasn't crowded when we were there — was it, Fergie?" asks 
the kid from Valentine Avenue. 

Fergie won't answer. He's not altogether with us on this discus- 
sion. He's not giving us his ail. 

The man who likes Memphis and Dallas sees that, too. He says 
to Fergie, "Down hère at this Field Fm lucky if I get a shower once 
a day. Fm in the new area on the west side of the Field. Ail the 
showers aren't built yet." 

Fergie is not interested. The comparison is not apt. The compari- 
son, I might and will say, stinks, Mac. 

From the front of the truck cornes a dynamic and irréfutable 
observation: "No flying again tonight! Them cadets won't be flyin' 
again tonight, ail right. The eighth day no night flyin'." 

Fergie looks up, with a minimum of energy. "I ain't hardly seen 
a plane since l'm down hère. My wife thinks Fm fiyin' myself nuts. 
She writes and tells me I should get outta the Air Corps. She's got 
me on a B- 1 7 or something. She reads about Clark Gable and she's 
got me a gunner or something on a bomber. I ain't got the heart to 
tell her ail I do is empty out stuff." 

"What stuiï?" says Memphis and Dallas, interested. 

"Any stuff. Any stuff that gets fîlled up." Fergie forgets Mee- 
ami for a minute and shoots Memphis and Dallas a withering look. 

"Oh," says Memphis and Dallas, but before he could continue 
Fergie turns to me. "You shoulda seen them showers in Mee-ami, 
Sarge. No kiddin'. You'd ne ver wanna take a bath in your own tub 
again." And Fergie turns away, losing interest in my face — which 
is altogether understandable. 

190 



THIS SANDWICH HAS NO MAYONNAISE 

Memphis and Dallas leans forward, anxiously, addressing Fergie. 
'1 could get you a ride," he tells Fergie. "I work at Dispatchers. 
Thèse hère lieutenants, they take cross-countries about oncet a 
month and sometimes they don't already hâve a passenger in the 
back. I been lotsa times. Maxwell Field. Everywhere." He points 
a finger at Fergie, as though accusing him of something. "Listen. 
If you wanna go sometime, gimme a ring. Call Dispatchers and ask 
for me. Porter 's the name." 

Fergie looks phlegmatically interested. "Yeah? Ask for Porter, 
huh? Corporal or something?" 

"Priva te," says Porter — just short of stiffly. 

"Boy," says the kid from Valentine Avenue, looking past my 
head into the teeming blackness. "Look at it corne downî" 

— -Where's my brother? Where's my brother Holden? What is 
this missing-in-action stufï? I don't believe it, I don't understand it, 
I don't believe it. The United States Government is a liar. The 
Government is lying to me and my family. 

I never heard such crazy, liar's news. 

Why, he came through the war in Europe without a scratch, we 
ail saw him before he shipped out to the Pacific last summer — and 
he looked fine. Missing. 

Missing, missing, missing. Lies! Fm being lied to. He's never been 
missing before. He's one of the least missing boys in the world. 
He's hère in this truck; he's home in New York; he's at Pentey 
Preparatory School ("You send us the Boy, We'll mold the Man 
— ail modem fireproof buildings . . ."); yes, he's at Pentey, he 
never left school; and he's at Cape Cod, sitting on the porch, biting 
his fingernails; and he's playing doubles with me, yelling at me to 
stay back at the baseline when he's at the net. Missing! Is that 
missing? Why lie about something as important as that? How can 
the Government do a thing like that? What can they get out of it, 
telling lies like that? 

"Hey, Sarge!" yells the character in the front of the truck. "Let's 
get this show on the road! Bring on the dames!" 

"How are the dames, Sarge? They good-lookin'?" 

"I don't really know what this thing is tonight," I say. "Usually 
they're pretty nice girls." That is to say, in other words, by the 
same token, usually they're usually. Everybody tries very, very 
hard. Everybody is in there pitching. The girls ask you where you 

191 



J. D. SALINGER 

corne from, and you tell them, and they repeat the name of the city, 
putting an exclamation point at the end of it. Then they tell you 
about Douglas Smith, Corporal, AUS. Doug lives in New York, 
and do you know him? You don't believe so, and you tell her about 
New York being a very big place. And because you didn't want 
Helen to marry a soldier and wait around for a year or six, you go 
on dancing with this strange girl who knows Doug Smith, this 
strange nice girl who's read every line Lloyd Q Douglas has 
written. While you dance and the band plays on, you think about 
everything in the world except music and dancing. You wonder if 
your little sister Phoebe is remembering to take your dog out regu- 
larly, if she's remembering not to jerk Joey's coUar — the kid'U kill 
the dog someday. 

"I never saw rain like this," the boy from Valentine Avenue 
says. "You ever see it like this, Fergie?" 

"See what?" 

"Rain like this." 

"Naa." 

^''Lefs get this show on the roadf Bring on the damesr The noisy 
guy leans forward and I can see his face. He looks like everybody 
else in the truck. We ail look alike. 

"What's the looey Hke, Sarge?" It was the boy from near the 
Bronx. 

"I don't really know," I say. "He Just hit the Field a couple of 
days ago. I heard that he lived right around hère somewhere when 
he was a civilian." 

"What a break. To live right near where you're at," says the boy 
from Valentine Avenue. "If I was only at Mitchel Field, like. Boy. 
Half hour and l'm home." 

Mitchel Field. Long Island. What about that Saturday in the 
summer at Port Washington? Red said to me, It zuon't hurt you to 
see the F air either. Ifs very pretty. So I grabbed Phoebe, and she 
had some kid with her named Minerva (which killed me), and I 
put them both in the car and then I looked around for Holden. I 
couldn't find him; so Phoebe and Minerva and I left without him 
. . . At the Fair we went to the Bell Téléphone Exhibit, and ï told 
Phoebe that This Phone was connected with the author of the Elsie 
Fairfield books. So Phoebe, shaking like Phoebe, picked up the 
phone and trembles into it, Hello, this is Phoebe Caulfield, a child 

192 



THIS SANDWICH HAS NO MAYONNAISE 

at the World'' s F air. I read your books and think they are ver y ex- 
cellent in spots. My mother and father are playing in Death Takes 
a Holiday in Great Neck. We go sivimming a lot, but the océan is 
better in Cape Cod. Good bye! . . . And then we came out of the 
building and there was Holden, with Hart and Kirky Morris. He 
had my terry-cloth shirt on. No coat. He came over and asked 
Phoebe for her autograph and she socked him in the stomach, 
happy to see him, happy he was her brother. Then he said to me, 
Lefs get out of this educational junk. Lefs go on one of the rides 
or something. I can't stand this stuff . . . And now they're trying 
to tell me he's missing. Missing. Who's missing? Not him. He's at 
the World's Fair. I know just where to find him. I know exactly 
where he is. Phoebe knows, too. She would know in a minute. 
What is this missing, missing, missing stuflF? 

"How long's it take y ou to get from your house to Forty-Second 
Street?" Fergie wants to know from the Valentine Avenue kid. 

Valentine Avenue thinks it over, a little excitedly. "From my 
house," he informs intensely, "to the Paramount Theayter takes 
exactly forty-four minutes by subway. I nearly won two bucks 
betting with my girl on that. Only I wouldn't take her dough." 

The man who likes Memphis and Dallas better than Miami 
speaks up: "I hope ail thèse girls tonight ain't chicken. I mean kids. 
They look at me like I was an old guy when they're chicken." 

"I watch out that I don't perspire too much," says Fergie. 
"Thèse hère G.I. dances are really hot. The women don't like it if 
you perspire too much. My wife don't even like it when I perspire 
too much. It's ail right when she perspires — that's différent! . . . 
Women. They drive ya nuts." 

A colossal burst of thunder. Ail of us jump — me nearly falling 
off the truck. I get ofî the protection strap, and the boy from Val- 
entine Avenue squeezes against Fergie to make room for me . . . 
A very drawly voice speaks up from the front of the truck: 

"Y'all ever been to Atlanta?" 

Everybody is waiting for more thunder. I answer. "No," I say. 

"Atlanta's a good town." 

— Suddenly the lieutenant from Spécial Services appears from 
nowhere, soaking wet, sticking his head inside the truck — four of 
thèse men must go. He wears one of those oilskin covers on his 
visored cap; it looks like a unicorn's bladder. His face is even wet. 

193 



J. D. SALINGER 

ît is a small-featured, young face, not yet altogether sure of the 
new command in it issued to him by the Government. He sees my 
stripes where the sleeves of my swiped raincoat (with ail my let- 
ters) should be. 

"You in chahge heah, Sahgeant?" 

Wow. Choose yo' pahtnuhs . . . 

'Tes, sir." 

"How many men in heah?" 

"Fd better take a re-count, sir." I turn around, and say, "Ail 
right, ail you men with matches handy, light 'em up — I wanna 
count heads." And four or Rvc of the men manage to burn matches 
simultaneously. ï prétend to count heads. "Thirty-four including 
me, sir," I tell him fînally. 

The young lieutenant in the rain shakes his head. "Too many," 
he informs me — and I try to look very stupid. "I called up every 
orderly room myself," he reveals for my benefit, "and distinctly 
gave orduhs that only fahve men from each squadron were sup- 
posed to go." (I prétend to see the gravity of the situation for the 
first time. I might suggest that we shoot four of the men. We might 
ask for a détail of men experienced in shooting people who want to 
go to dances.) . . . The lieutenant asks me, "Do you know Miz 
Jackson, Sahgeant?" 

"I know who she is," I say as the men listen — without taking 
drags on their cigarettes. 

"Well, Miz Jackson called me this mawnin' and asked for just 
thi'ty men even. Fm afraid, Sahgeant, we'U hâve to ask four of the 
men to go back to their areas." He looks away from me, looks 
deeper into the truck, establishing a neutrality for himself in the 
soaking dark. "I don't care how it's done," he says to the truck, 
"but it'U hâve to be done." 

I look cross-eyed at the men. "How many of you did not sign 
up for this dance?" 

"Don't look at me," says Valentine Avenue. "I signed up." 

"Who didn't sign up?" I say. "Who just came along because 
somebody told him about it?" — That's cute, sergeant. Keep it up. 

"Make it snappy, Sahgeant," says the lieutenant, letting his head 
drip inside the truck. 

"C'mon now. Who didn't sign up?"— C'mon now, who didn't 
sign up. I never heard such a gross question in my life. 

194 



THIS SANDWICH HAS NO MAYONNAISE 

"Heck, we ail signed up, Sarge," says Valentine Avenue. "The 
thing is, around seven guys signed up in my squadron." 

Ail right. ni be brilliant. Fil offer a handsome alternative. 
"Who's willing to take in a movie on the Field instead?" 

No response. 

Response. 

Silently, Porter (the Memphis-Dallas man) gets up and moves 
tov^ard the way out. The men adjust their legs to let him go by. 
I move aside, too . . . None of us tells Porter, as he passes, what 
relatively big, important stufï he is. 

More response . . . "One side," says Fergie, getting up. "So the 
married guys'll write letters t'night." He jumps out of the truck 
quickly. 

I wait. We ail wait. No one else cornes forward. "Two more," 
I croak. Fil hound them. Fil hound thèse men because I hâte their 
guts. They're ail being insufferably stupid. What's the matter with 
them? Do they think they'll hâve a terrifie time at this sticky little 
dance? Do they think they're going to hear a fine trumpet take a 
chorus of "Marie"? What's the matter with thèse idiots? What's 
the matter with me? Why do I want them ail to go? Why do I sort 
of want to go myself? Sort of! What a joke. You're aching to go, 
Caulfield . . . 

"AU right," I say coldly. "The last two men on the left, C'mon 
out. I don't know who you are." — I don't know who you are. — 
Phew! 

The noisy guy, who has been yelling at me to 'gtx. the show on 
the road, starts coming out. I had forgotten that he was sitting just 
there. But he disappears awkwardly into the India ink storm. He is 
followed, as though tentatively, by a smaller man — a boy, it proves 
in the light. 

His overseas cap on crooked and limp with wet, his eyes on the 
lieutenant, the boy waits in the rain — as though obeying an order. 
He is very young, probably eighteen, and he doesn't look like the 
tiresome sort of kid who argues and argues after the whistle's 
blown. I stare at him, and the lieutenant turns around and stares 
at him, too. 

"I was on the list. I signed up when the fella tacked it up. Right 
when he tacked it up." 

"Sorry, soldier," says the lieutenant. " — ^Ready, Sahgeant?" 

195 



J. D. SALINGER 

"You can ask Ostrander," the boy tells the lieutenant, and sticks 
his head inside the truck. "Hey, Ostrander! Wasn't I the fîrst fella 
on the list?" 

The rain cornes down harder than ever, it seems. The boy who 
wants to go to the dance is getting soaked. I reach out a hand and 
flip up his raincoat coUar. 

"Wasn't I first on the list?" the boy yells at Ostrander. 

"What list?" says Ostrander. 

"The list for fellas that wanna go to the dance!" yells the boy. 

"Oh," says Ostrander. "What about it? I was on it." 

Oh, Ostrander, you insidious bore! 

"Wasn't î the first fella on it?" says the boy, his voice breaking. 

"I don't know," says Ostrander. "How should I know?" 

The boy turns wildly to the lieutenant. 

"I was the first one on it, sir. Honest. This fella in our squadron 
— this foreign guy, like, that works in the orderly room — he tacked 
it up and I signe d it right off. The first fella." 

The lieutenant says, dripping: "Get in. Get in the truck, boy." 

The boy climbs back into the truck and the men quickly make 
make room for him. 

The lieutenant turns to me and asks, "Sahgeant, wheah can I use 
a téléphone around heah?" 

"Well. Post Engineers, sir. l'U show you." 

We wade through the ri vers of red bog over to Post Engineers. 

"Mama?" the lieutenant says into the mouthpiece. "Buddy . . . 
Fm fine . . . Yes, mama. Yes, mama. l'm fixin' to be. Maybe Sun- 
day if I get ofï like they said. Mama, is Sarah Jane home? . . . 
Well, how 'bout lettin' me talk to her? . . . Yes, mama. I will if I 
can, mama; maybe Sunday." 

The lieutenant talks again. 

"Sarah Jane? . . . Fine. Fine . . . Fm fixin' to. I told mama 
maybe Sunday if I get ofï. — Listen Sarah Jane. You got a date 
t'night? . . . It sure is pretty bad. It sure is. — ^Listen, Sarah Jane. 
How's the car? You get that thing fixed? That's fine, that 's fine; 
that's mighty cheap, with the plugs and ail." The lieutenant's voice 
changes. It becomes casual. "Sarah Jane, listen. I want you to drive 
oveh to Miz Jackson's t'night . . . Well, it's like this: I got thèse 
boys heah for one of those pahties Miz Jackson gives. You know? 
. . . Only this is what I want to tell you: they 's one boy too many 

196 



THIS SANDWICH HAS NO MAYONNAISE 

. . . Yes . . . Yes . . . Yes ... I know that, Sarah Jane; I know 
that; I know it's rainin' . . . Yes . . . Yes . . ." The lieutenant's 
voice gets very sure and hard suddenly. He says into the mouth- 
piece, "I ain't askin^ you, girl. Fm tellifi' you. Now I want you to 
drive ovuh to Miz Jackson's right quick — heah? ... I don't care 
. . . AU right. Ail right . . . Fil see y'il later." He hangs up. 

Drenched to the bone, the bone of loneliness, the bone of silence, 
we plod back to the truck. 

Where are you, Holden? Never mind this Missing stuff. Stop 
playing around. Show up. Show up somewhere. Hear me? Will 
you do that for me? It's simply because I remember everything. 
I can't forget anything that's good, that's why. So listen. Just go up 
to somebody, some officer or some G.I., and tell them you're Hère 
— not Missing, not dead, not anything but Hère. 

Stop kidding around. Stop letting people think you're Missing. 
Stop wearing my robe to the beach. Stop taking the shots on my 
side of the court. Stop whistling. Sit up to the table . . . 



197 



l^orman Mailcr 



THE LANGUAGE OF MEN 



Norman Mailer is commonly recognized as one of the most talented 
young writers in America today. A product of Brooklyn and 
Harvard, he saw Army service during World War II, mostly in the 
Pacific, and wrote of it in The Naked and the Dead, one of the out- 
standing war novels published in this country. His second novel, 
Bar bar y Shore (1951), had the distinction, according to the author, 
"of receiving possibly the worst reviews of any serions novel in récent 
years." His third novel, The Deer Park (1955), one of the most 
outspoken books on the sexual manners, mores, and myths of Holly- 
wood, returned Norman Mailer's name to the best-seller lists and 
succeeded in splitting the nation's critics into two almost equally 
divided groups pro and con, a not inconsiderable feat. 

Dwight McDonald especially singles Mailer ont as one of the best 
of the young writers, and speaks of his constant experimenting, his 
search for new forms and ideas. In 1956 and 1957 Mailer wrote 
several articles about hipsterism in the magazine Dissent and in the 
weekly Village Voice: "I take hip very seriously; the hipsters may be 
the beginning of a new world révolution, like the early Christians." 

"The Language of Men" appeared in Esquire in April 1953 and 
seems more closely related to Mailer's earliest book in its delineation 
of the character and habits of men in the army. It is one of the 
relatively few short stories he has published. 



IN THE BEGINNING, SANFORD CARTER WAS ASHAMED OF BECOMING 

an Army cook. This was not from snobbery, at least not from 
snobbery of the most direct sort. During the two and a half years 
Carter had been in the Army he had come to hâte cooks more and 
more. They existed for him as a symbol of ail that was corrupt, 
overbearing, stupid, and privileged in Army life. The image which 
came to mind was a fat cook with an enormous sandwich in one 
hand, and a bottle of béer in the other, sweat pouring down a 
porcine face, foot on a flour barrel, shouting at the K.P.'s, "Hurry 

198 



THE LANGUAGE OF MEN 

up, you men, I ain't got ail day." More than once in those two 
and a half years, driven to exaspération, Carter had been on the 
verge of throwing his food into a cook's face as he passed on the 
serving line. His anger often derived from nothing: the set of a 
pair of fat lips, the casual heavy thump of the serving spoon into 
his plate, or the resentful conviction that the cook was not serving 
him enough. Since life in the Army was in most aspects a marriage, 
this rage over apparently harmless détails was not a sign of un- 
balance. Every soldier found some particular habit of the Army 
spouse impossible to support. 

Yet Sanford Carter became a cook and, to elaborate the irony, 
did better as a cook than he had done as anything else. In a few 
months he rose from a Private to a fîrst cook with the rank of Ser- 
geant, Technician. After the fact, it was easy to understand. He 
had suffered through ail his Army career from an excess of eager- 
ness. He had cared too much, he had wanted to do well, and so he 
had often been tense at moments when he would better hâve been 
relaxed. He was very young, twenty-one, had lived the compara- 
tively gentle life of a middle-class boy, and needed some success 
in the Army to prove to himself that he was not completely worth- 
less. 

In succession, he had failed as a surveyor in Field Artillery, a 
clerk in an Infantry headquarters, a téléphone wireman, and finally 
a rifleman. When the war ended, and his régiment went to Japan, 
Carter was still a rifleman; he had been a rifleman for eight months. 
What was more to the point, he had been in the platoon as long as 
any of its members; the skilled hard-bitten nucleus of vétérans who 
had run his squad had gone home one by one, and it seemed to 
him that through seniority he was entitled to at least a corporal's 
rating. Through seniority he was so entitled, but on no other 
ground. Whenever responsibility had been handed to him, he had 
discharged it miserably, tensely, overconscientiously. He had al- 
ways asked too many questions, he had worried the task too 
severely, he had conveyed his nervousness to the men he was sup- 
posed to lead. Since he was also sensitive enough and proud enough 
never to curry favor with the noncoms in the platoons, he was in 
no position to sit in on their occasional discussions about who was 
to succeed them. In a vacuum of ignorance, he had allowed himself 
to dream that he would be given a squad to lead, and his hurt was 

199 



NORMAN MAILER 

sharp when the squad was given to a replacement who had joined 
the platoon months after him. 

The war was over, Carter had a bride in the States (he had lived 
with her for only two months), he was lonely, he was obsessed 
with going home. As one week dragged into the next, and the régi- 
ment, the Company, and his own platoon continued the same sort 
of training which they had been doing ever since he had entered 
the Army, he thought he would snap. There were months to wait 
until he would be discharged and meanwhile it was intolérable to 
him to be taught for the fifth time the nomenclature of the ma- 
chine gun, to stand a retreat parade three evenings a week. He 
wanted some niche where he could lick his wounds, some Army 
job with so many hours of work and so many hours of complète 
freedom, where he could be alone by himself . He hated the Army, 
the huge Army which had proved to him that he was good at no 
work, and incapable of succeeding at anything. He wrote long, 
aching letters to his wife, he talked less and less to the men around 
him and he was close to violent attacks of anger during the most 
casual phases of training — during close-or der drill or cleaning his 
rifle for inspection. He knew that if he did not find his niche it 
was possible that he would crack. 

So he took an opening in the kitchen. It promised him nothing 
except a day of work, and a day of leisure which would be com- 
pletely at his disposai. He found that he liked it. He was given at 
first the job of baking the bread for the company, and every other 
night he worked till early in the morning, kneading and shaping 
his fifty-pound mix of dough. At two or three he would be done, 
and for his work there would be the tangible reward of fifty loaves 
of bread, ail fresh from the oven, ail clean and smelHng of fertile 
accomplished creativity. He had the rare and therefore intensely 
satisfying émotion of seeing at the end of an Army chore the 
product of his labor. 

A month after he became a cook the régiment was disbanded, 
and those men who did not hâve enough points to go home were 
sent to other outfits. Carter ended at an ordnance company in 
another Japanese city. He had by now given up ail thought of get- 
ting a noncom's rating beforc he was discharged, and was merely 
content to work each alternate day. He took his work for granted 
and so he succeeded at it. He had begun as a baker in the new 

200 



THE LANGUAGE OF MEN 

Company kitchen; before long he was the fîrst cook. It ail happened 
quickly. One cook went home on points, another caught a skin 
disease, a third was transferred from the kitchen after contracting 
a venereal infection. On the shift which Carter worked there were 
left only himself and a man who was illiterate. Carter was put 
nominally in charge, and was soon actively in charge. He looked 
up each menu in an Army recipe book, collected the items, com- 
bined them in the order indicated, and after the proper time had 
elapsed, took them from the stove. His product tasted neither bet- 
ter nor worse than the product of ail other Army cooks. But the 
mess sergeant was impressed. Carter had filled a gap. The next time 
ratings were given out Carter jumped at a bound from Private to 
Sergeant T/4. 

On the surface he was happy; beneath the surface he was over- 
joyed. It took him several weeks to realize how grateful and de- 
lighted he felt. The promotion coincided with his assignment to 
a detachment working in a small seaport up the coast. Carter ar- 
rived there to discover that he was in charge of cooking for thirty 
men, and would act as mess sergeant. There was another cook, and 
there were four permanent Japanese K.P.'s, ail of them good work- 
ers. He still cooked every other day, but there was always time 
between meals to take a break of at least an hour and often two; 
he shared a room with the other cook and lived in comparative 
privacy for the fîrst time in several years; the seaport was beauti- 
ful; there was only one officer, and he left the men alone; supplies 
were plentiful due to a clérical error which assigne d rations for 
forty men rather than thirty; and in gênerai everything was fine. 
The niche had become a sinécure. 

This was the happiest period of Carter 's life in the Army. He 
came to like his Japanese K.P.'s. He studied their language, he 
visited their homes, he gave them gifts of food from time to time. 
They worshiped him because he was kind to them and gênerons, 
because he never shouted, because his good humor bubbled over 
into games, and made the work of the kitchen seem pleasant. AU 
the while he grew in confidence. He was not a big man, but his 
body filled out from the heavy work; he was likely to sing a great 
deal, he cracked jokes with the men on the chow line. The kitchen 
became his property, it became his domain, and since it was a 
warm room, filled with sunlight, he came to take pleasure in the 

201 



NORMAN MAILER 

very sight of it. Before long his good humor expanded into a séries 
of efforts to improve the food. He began to take little pains and 
make little extra efforts which would hâve been impossible if he 
had been obliged to cook for more than thirty men. In the morn- 
ing he would serve the men fresh eggs scrambled or fried to their 
désire in fresh butter. Instead of cooking sixty eggs in one large 
pot he cooked two eggs at a time in a frying pan, turning them to 
the taste of each soldier. He baked like a housewife satisfying her 
young husband; at lunch and dinner there was pie or cake, and 
often both. He went to great lengths. He taught the K.P.'s how to 
make the toast corne out right. He traded excess food for spices in 
Japanese stores. He rubbed paprika and garlic on the chickens. He 
even made pastries to cover such Staples as corn beef hash and méat 
and vegetable stew. 

It ail seemed to be wasted. In the beginning the men might hâve 
noticed thèse improvements, but after a period they took them for 
granted. It did not matter how he worked to satisfy them; they 
trudged through the chow line with their heads down, nodding 
coolly at him, and they ate without comment. He would hang 
around the tables after the meal, noticing how much they con- 
sumed, and what they discarded; he would wait for compliments, 
but the soldiers seemed indiffèrent. They seemed to eat without 
tasting the food. In their faces he saw mirrored the distaste with 
which he had once stared at cooks. 

The honeymoon was ended. The pleasure he took in the kitchen 
and himself curdled. He became aware again of his painful désire 
to please people, to discharge responsibility, to be a man. When 
he had been a child, tears had come into his eyes at a cross word, 
and he had lived in an atmosphère where his smallest accomplish- 
ment was warmly praised. He was the sort of young man, he often 
thought bitterly, who was accustomed to the attention and the 
protection of women. He would hâve thrown away ail he pos- 
sessed — the love of his wife, the love of his mother, the benefits of 
his éducation, the assured fînancial security of entering his father's 
business — if he had been able just once to dig a ditch as well as the 
most ignorant f armer. 

Instead, he was back in the painful unprotected days of his first 
entrance into the Army. Once again the most casual actions be- 
came the most painful, the events which were most to be taken for 

202 



THE LANGUAGE OF MEN 

granted grew into the most significant, and the feeding of the men 
at each meal turned progressively more unbearable. 

So Sanford Carter came full circle. If he had once hated the 
cooks, he now hated the troops. At mealtimes his face soured into 
the belHgerent scowl with which he had once beheved cooks to 
be born. And to himself he muttered the age-old laments of the 
housewife: how little they appreciated what he did. 

Finally there was an explosion. He was approached one day by 
Corporal Taylor, and he had come to hâte Taylor, because Taylor 
was the natural leader of the detachment and kept the other men 
endlessly amused with his jokes. Taylor had the ability to présent 
himself as inefficient, shiftless, and incapable, in such a manner as 
to convey that really the opposite was true. He had the lightest 
touch, he had the greatest facility, he could charm a geisha in two 
minutes and obtain anything he wanted from a supply sergeant in 
five. Carter envied him, envied his grâce, his charmed indifférence; 
then grew to hâte him. 

Taylor teased Carter about the cooking, and he had the knack of 
knowing where to put the knife. "Hey, Carter," he would shout 
across the mess hall while breakfast was being served, "you turned 
my eggs twice, and I asked for them raw." The men would shout 
with laughter. Somehow Taylor had succeeded in conveying ail 
of the situation, or so it seemed to Carter, insinuating everything, 
how Carter worked and how it meant nothing, how Carter labored 
to gain their affection and earned their contempt. Carter would 
scowl. Carter would answer in a rough voice, "Next time FU crack 
them over your head." "You crack 'em, Fil eat 'em." Taylor would 
pipe back, "but just don't put your fingers in 'em." And there 
would be another laugh. He hated the sight of Taylor. 

It was Taylor who came to him to get the salad oil. About 
twenty of the soldiers were going to hâve a fish fry at the geisha 
house; they had bought the fish at the local market, but they could 
not buy oil, so Taylor was sent as the deputy to Carter. Fie was 
charming to Carter, he complimented him on the meal, he clapped 
him on the back, he dissolved Carter to warmth, to private delight 
in the attention, and the thought that he had misjudged Taylor. 
Then Taylor asked for the oil. 

Carter was sick with anger. Twenty men out of the thirty in the 
detachment were going on the fish fry. It meant only that Carter 

203 



NORMAN MAILER 

was considère d one of the ten undesirables. It was something he 
had known, but the proof of knowledge is always more painful 
than the acquisition of it. If he had been alone his eyes would hâve 
clouded. And he was outraged at Taylor's déception. He could 
imagine Taylor saying ten minutes la ter, "You should hâve seen 
the grease job I gave to Carter. Fm dumb, but man, he's dumber." 

Carter was close enough to giving him the oil. He had a sensé 
of what it would mean to refuse Taylor, he was on the very edge 
of mild acquiescence. But he also had a sensé of how he would 
despise himself afterward. 

"No," he said abruptly, his teeth gritted, "you can't hâve it." 

"What do you mean we can't hâve it?" 

"I won't give it to you." Carter could almost feel the rage which 
Taylor generated at being refused. 

"You won't give away a lousy five gallons of oil to a bunch of 
G.I.'s having a party?" 

"l'm sick and tired," Carter began. 

"So am I." Taylor walked away. 

Carter knew he would pay for it. He left the K.P.'s and went to 
change his sweat-soaked work shirt, and as he passed the large 
dormitory in which most of the detachment slept he could hear 
Taylor's high-pitched voice. Carter did not bother to take off his 
shirt. He returned instead to the kitchen, and listened to the sound 
of men going back and forth through the hall and of a man shout- 
ing with rage. That was Hobbs, a Southerner, a big man with a 
big bellowing voice. 

There was a formai knock on the kitchen door. Taylor came in. 
His face was pale and his eyes showed a cold satisfaction. "Carter," 
he said, "the men want to see you in the big room." 

Carter heard his voice answer huskily. "If they want to see me, 
they can corne into the kitchen." 

He knew he would conduct himself with more courage in his 
own kitchen than anywhere else. "l'il be hère for a while." 

Taylor closed the door, and Carter picked up a writing board 
to which was clamped the menu for the folio wing day. Then he 
made a prêteuse of examining the food supplies in the pantry closet. 
It was his habit to check the stocks before deciding what to serve 
the next day, but on this night his eyes ranged thoughtlessly over 

204 



THE LANGUAGE OF MEN 

the canned goods. In a corner were seven five-gallon tins of salad 
oil, easily enough cooking oil to last a month. Carter came out of 
the pantry and shut the door behind him. 

He kept his head down and pretended to be writing the menu 
when the soldiers came in. Somehow there were even more of them 
than he had expected. Out of the twenty men who were going to 
the party, ail but two or three had crowded through the door. 

Carter took his time, looked up slowly. "You men want to sec 
me?" he asked flatly. 

They were angry. For the fîrst time in his life he faced the hos- 
tile expressions of many men. It was the most painful and anxious 
moment he had ever known. 

"Taylor says you won't give us the oil," someone burst out. 

"That's right, I won't," said Carter. He tapped his pencil against 
the scratchboard, tapping it slowly and, he hoped, with an ap- 
pearance of calm. 

*'What a stink deal," said Porfîrio, a little Cuban whom Carter 
had always considered his friend. 

Hobbs, the big Southerner, stared down at Carter. "Would you 
mind telling the men why youVe decided not to give us the oil?" 
he asked quietly. 

" 'Cause Fm blowed if Fm going to cater to you men. Fve ca- 
tered enough," Carter said. His voice was close to cracking with 
the outrage he had suppressed for so long, and he knew that if he 
continued he might cry. "Fm the acting mess sergeant," he said as 
coldly as he could, "and I décide what goes out of this kitchen." 
He stared at each one in turn, trying to stare them down, feeling 
mired in the rut of his own failure. They would never hâve dared 
this approach to another mess sergeant. 

"What crud," someone muttered. 

"You won't give a lousy five-gallon can of oil for a G.L party," 
Hobbs said more loudly. 

"I won't. That's definite. You men can get out of hère." 

"Why, you lousy little snot," Hobbs burst out, "how many 
five-gallon cans of oil hâve you sold on the black market?" 

"Fve never sold any." Carter might hâve been slapped with the 
flat of a sword. He told himself bitterly, numbly, that this was 
the reward he received for being perhaps the single honest cook 

205 



NORMAN MAILER 

in the whole United States Army. And he even had time to won- 
der at the obscure préjudice which had kept him from selHng food 
for his own profit. 

"Man, Fve seen you take it out," Hobbs exclaimed. ^Tve seen 
y ou take it to the market." 

"I took food to trade for spices," Carter said hotly. 

There was an ugly snicker from the mcn. 

"I don't mind if a cook sells," Hobbs said, "every man has his 
own deal in this Army. But a cook ought to give a little food to a 
G.I. if he wants it." 

"Tell him," someone said. 

*'It's bull," Taylor screeched. "Fve seen Carter take butter, eggs, 
every damn thing to the market." 

Their faces were red, they circled him. 

"I ne ver sold a thing," Carter said doggedly. 

"And Fm telHng you," Hobbs said, "that you're a two-bit crook. 
You been raiding that kitchen, and that's why you don't give to 
us now." 

Carter knew there was only one way he could possibly answer 
if he hoped to live among thèse men again. "That's a goddam lie," 
Carter said to Hobbs. He laid down the scratchboard, he flipped 
his pencil slowly and deliberately to one corner of the room, and 
with his heart aching he lunged toward Hobbs. He had no hope 
of beating him. He merely intended to fight until he was pounded 
unconscious, advancing the pain and bruises he would collect as 
collatéral for his self -respect. 

To his indescribable relief Porfirio darted between them, held 
them apart with the pleased ferocity of a small man breaking up a 
fight. "Now, stop this! Now, stop this!" he cried out. 

Carter allowed himself to be pushed back, and he knew that he 
had gained a point. He even glimpsed a solution with some honor. 

He shrugged violently to free himself from Porfirio. He was in 
a rage, and yet it was a rage he could hâve ended at any instant. 
"Ail right, you men," he swore, "Fil give you the oil, but now 
that we're at it, Fm going to tell you a thing or two." His face red, 
his body perspiring, he was in the pantry and out again with a 
five-gallon tin. "Hère," he said, "you better hâve a good fish fry, 
'cause it's the last good meal you're going to hâve for quite a while. 
Fm sick of trying to please you. You think I hâve to work — " he 

206 



THE LANGUAGE OF M E N 

was about to say, my fîngers to the bone — "well, I don't. From 
now on, you'll see what chow in the Army is supposed to be like." 
He was almost hysterical. "Take that oil. Hâve your fish fry." The 
fact that they wanted to cook for themselves was the greatest in- 
suit of ail. "Tomorrow Fil give you real Army cooking." 

His voice was so intense that they backed away from him. "Get 
ont of this kitchen," he said. "None of you has any business hère." 

They filed out quietly, and they looked a little sheepish. 

Carter felt weary, he felt ashamed of himself, he knew he had 
not meant what he said. But half an hour later, when he left the 
kitchen and passed the large dormitory, he heard shouts of raucous 
laughter, and he heard his name mentioned and then more laughter. 

He slept badly that night, he was awake at four, he was in the 
kitchen by five, and stood there white-faced and nervous, waiting 
for the K.P.'s to arrive. Breakfast that morning landed on the men 
like a lead bomb. Carter rummaged in the back of the pantry and 
found a tin of dehydrated eggs covered with dust, mémento of a 
time when fresh eggs were never on the ration list. The K.P.'s 
looked at him in amazement as he stirred the lumpy powder into a 
pan of water. While it was still half-dissolved he put it on the iire. 
While it was still wet, he took it off. The cofïee was cold, the 
toast was burned, the oatmeal stuck to the pot. The men dipped 
forks into their food, took cautions sips of their coffee, and spoke 
in whispers. Sullenness drifted like vapors through the kitchen. 

At noontime Carter opened cans of meat-and-vegetable stew. 
He dumped them into a pan and heated them slightly. He served 
the stew with burned string beans and dehydrated potatoes which 
tasted like straw. For dessert the men had a single lukewarm canned 
peach and cold coffee. 

So the meals continued. For three days Carter cooked slop, and 
sufîered even more than the men. When mealtime came he left the 
chow line to the K.P.'s and sat in his room, perspiring with shame, 
détermine d not to yield and sick with the détermination. 

Carter won. On the fourth day a délégation of men came to see 
him. They told him that indeed they had appreciated his cooking 
in the past, they told him that they were sorry they had hurt his 
feelings, they listened to his remonstrances, they listened to his 
grievances, and with delight Carter forgave them. That night, for 
supper, the detachment celebrated. There was roast chicken with 

207 



NORMAN MAILER 

stufEng, lemon meringue pie and chocolaté cake. The cojffee burned 
their lips. More than half the men made it a point to compliment 
Carter on the meal. 

In the weeks which followed the compliments diminished, but 
they never stopped completely. Carter became ashamed at last. 
He realized the men were trying to humor him, and he wished to 
tell them it was no longer necessary. 

Harmony settled over the kitchen. Carter even became friends 
with Hobbs, the big Southerner. Hobbs approached him one day, 
and in the manner of a farmer talked obliquely for an hour. He 
spoke about his father, he spoke about his girl friends, he alluded 
indirectly to the night they had almost fought, and finally with 
the courtesy of a Southerner he said to Carter, "You know, Fm 
sorry about shooting off my mouth. You were right to want to 
fight me, and if you're still mad Fil fight you to give you satisfac- 
tion, although I just as soon would not." 

"No, I don't want to fight with you now," Carter said warmly. 
They smiled at each other. They were friends. 

Carter knew he had gained Hobbs' respect. Hobbs respected him 
because he had been willing to fight. That made sensé to a man 
like Hobbs. Carter liked him so much at this moment that he 
wished the friendship to be more intimate. 

"You know," he said to Hobbs, "it's a funny thing. You know 
I really never did sell anything on the black market. Not that Fm 
proud of it, but I just didn't." 

Hobbs frowned. He seemed to be saying that Carter did not 
hâve to lie. "I don't hold it against a man," Hobbs said, "if he 
makes a little money in something that's his own proper work. 
Hell, ï sell gas from the motor pool. It's just I also give gas if one 
of the G.I. 's wants to take the jeep out for a joy ride, kind of." 

"No, but I never did sell anything." Carter had to explain. "If 
I ever had sold on the black market, I would hâve given the salad 
oil without question." 

Hobbs frowned again, and Carter realized he still did not be- 
lieve him. Carter did not want to lose the friendship which was 
forming. He thought he could save it only by some further admis- 
sion. "You know," he said again, "remember when Porfirio broke 
up our fight? I was awful glad when I didn't hâve to fight you." 

208 



THE LANGUAGE OF MEN 

Carter laughed, expecting Hobbs to laugh with him, but a shadow 
passed across Hobbs' face. 

"Funny way of putting it," Hobbs said. 

He was always friendly thereafter, but Carter knew that Hobbs 
would never consider him a friend. Carter thought about it often, 
and began to wonder about the things which made him différent. 
He was no longer so worried about becoming a man; he felt that 
to an extent he had become one. But in his heart he wondered if 
he would ever learn the language of men. 



209 



Evclyn Wawh 



ST. FRANCIS XAVIER'S BONES 



Evelyn Waugh's interest in travel and in religions shrines and figures 
dates from the early thirties. In 1930, at the âge of 26, he was received 
into the Roman Catholic Church; he had begun his travels a year or 
two before. "From 1928 until 1937," he says, "I had no fixed home and 
no possessions which would not conveniently go on a porter's 
barrow." 

In December 1952 Waugh made a trip to Goa, and in December of 
the following year "St. Francis Xavier's Bones" appeared in Esquive 
(it has not been anthologized, and is reprinted hère for the first 
time). Earlier, in 1950, he had pubHshed a religions novel, Helena, a 
fictionalized life of the now canonized mother of Constantine (who 
found the wood of the true Cross). Still following his religions 
prédilections, Waugh journeyed to Jérusalem in 195 1, where he 
recorded his impressions for Life magazine. With additional com- 
ments they were published in the book The Holy Places in 1953. 

Waugh, of course, is much better known for his early comic novels, 
Décline and Fall, Vile BodieSy Scoopy Handful of Dust, etc. — wildly 
satiric pictures of life among the bright young Londoners of the 
twenties and thirties. But it is often pointed out that his serions, re- 
ligions non-fiction and the hilarious, bitingly satiric fiction spring 
from the same source: his aversion to many aspects of the modem 
world, and his devout Catholicism. 



DIU, DAMAN, GOA, MAHE, KARIKAL, PONDICHERY, YANAM HOW ODD 

thèse places, strung out along the coast of India, used to look in the 
school atlas; as though small, alien teeth had been nibbling at the 
edges of the huge vermillon expanse of British India. 

''Couldn't we turn them out, sir?" 

"Of course. Any time we wanted to." 

"Then why don't we, sir?" 

And we were told that thèse quaint survivais were a part of his- 
tory, of the remote days when France and Portugal competed 

210 



ST. FRANCIS XAVIEr's BONES 

with us for empire; furthermore that their neglected condition 
provided a salutary example to any Indian who was crass enough 
to doubt the benevolence of the British Raj. 

"Are there really Indians like that, sir?" 

"A few Bengali babus." 

That was how the geography lesson ran nearly forty years ago. 

The turrmlt and the shoutîng dies 
The captams and the kings départ . . . 

Today, after ail the pageantry of British surrender, thèse places 
remain the solitary outposts of European authority. 

I had long wanted to visit them; Goa especially, for I had been 
endeared to many Goans in many parts of the world; I had read 
travelers' taies of the Golden City that had once been the capital 
and emporium of ail the widespread Portuguese empire of the East, 
and now stood quite deserted; I had seen prints and photographs 
of the great baroque buildings engulfed in jungle, and lately I had 
read Father James Brodrick's biography of St. Francis Xavier, 
whose body is Goa's greatest treasure. December, 1952, was the 
saint 's particular month, the four hundredth anniversary of his 
death, when his relies were to be exposed to vénération for the last 
time in their long and strange history. It was then or never to make 
the pilgrimage. 

Goa can be reached by sea from Bombay or overland from Bel- 
gaum, a straggling cantonment on the air route to the south. The 
bus at Belgaum was full of pilgrims. A polite youth distributed 
printed warnings of the brutality of the "Fascist" régime ahead of 
us. He was one of the dissident Goans, a small organized group of 
whom exists in Bombay. This was my introduction to the threat 
which hangs over the European territories. Covetous eyes are on 
them in Delhi, where the Congress politicians are more ambitious 
than their predecessors in power, the British imperialists. Even in 
happy Goa, at the time of the British withdrawal, many Hindus 
and some Christians were excited by the jubilation beyond their 
f routiers. A dozen agitators were déporte d and now live in Portu- 
gal in complète freedom, subject to a ban on their returning home 
to résume their activities. A small section only of the population 
is interested in public afïairs. The wisest of thèse hâve patiently 
compared the new Republic of India with their own, giving par- 

211 



EVELYN WAUGH 

ticular attention to the state of order, the purity of the financial 
administration, the welfare of the poorest classes, the pénal System 
and the respect shown to minority communities such as the Eu- 
rasians. In none of thèse respects hâve they found reason for envy. 
There are very few European officiais in the territory. Goans hâve 
strong local patriotism but they are, in fact, Portuguese. They are 
not a subject or "protected" people. They enjoy full and equal 
citizenship with the descendants of the Conquistadors and can rise 
to any position in the Republic. There is no exclusive club. In one 
thing only are they déficient in comparison with the Indians. 
Politics are the cocaine of the people and this unhealthy stimulant 
is little used in Goa. Wherever he goes in India, the Western visitor 
is beset by begging students. At first, remembering, perhaps, Ig- 
natius Loyola at the University of Paris, he is warmed with sym- 
pathy at the traditional spectacle of poverty in pursuit of knowl- 
edge. Then he asks: what subject are they studying? What pro- 
fession do they aspire to practice? And often the chilling answers 
are: politics, politicians. The ambitions of Indian youth are no 
longer confined to a clerkship and a pension. There are larger 
prizes, very remote but very brilliant, at Delhi and in the Indian 
Embassies. 

For a few Goan youths it may seem sad to grow up deprived of 
the mass oratory and démonstrations, overturned buses, tear-gas 
and lathi-chargQS which enrich the frugal life of the Indian student. 
Thèse, if they go to Bombay for their éducation, become recruits 
for the Congress Party. The more experienced value their Portu- 
guese citizenship for the privilèges it confers. There is little extrav- 
agant dévotion to Lisbon. Portuguese rule was violent in its early 
days, neglectful later; only in the présent génération has it begun 
to redeem its past. Goans of Brahman descent never fail to an- 
nounce the fact, while those of mixed blood are silent on the sub- 
ject. Patriotism at home and among the Diaspora — the thousands 
of Goans in Africa, Bombay, and along the trade routes of British 
shipping — is Goan. But, paradoxically, the only guarantee of local 
integrity is Portuguese nationality. 

Thèse are the impressions of several subséquent weeks of inquiry 
and discussion. On that first morning there was barely time to 
glance at the Congress leaflet before the bus started and ail atten- 
tion was devoted to the hard work of travei. This was called a 

212 



ST. FRANCIS XAVIEr's BONES 

"luxury coach," and later acquaintance with the normal service 
confirmed its claim to certain superior amenities. The number of 
passengers was limited to the number of seats and that morning the 
passengers were ail Goans visiting their homes for the festival, ail 
in Western dress, ail very polite and in the best of spirits except 
when, rather often, they were being sick. Clinging to the hard, 
narrow seats we bounced and banged our way to the frontier in a 
brown dust storm of our own making. 

In two hours we reached the Indian road block. 

Smuggling is said to be well organized and profitable. Most 
things are cheaper in Goa but the main illicit export is whisky, for 
the State of Bombay has used its new-found freedom to decree 
Prohibition — an inefifective pièce of bigotry and an odd one, for 
there is nothing in Hindu religion or tradition to discourage fer- 
mented liquors. The smugglers do not follow the highway or use 
public transport; the traffic goes one way only, but even in our 
exodus the Indian officiais were tediously vigilant. The Festival of 
St. Francis Xavier was not officially popular in India. Indeed, the 
Indians were then staging what looked rather like a specially con- 
trived counterattraction — a festival at Ernakulam to celebrate the 
nineteen hundredth anniversary of the arrivai there of St. Thomas 
the Apostle. St. Thomas is the patron of skeptics. He will not, I 
think, condemn the doubt of his ever having reached India; still 
less of his having done so in December, 52 a.d. But Indians rejoice 
in festivals and both occasions were enthusiastically thronged. 

We changed into a more comfortable vehicle and half an hour 
later reached the Goan frontier post, where easygoing cordiality 
prevailed. A booth sold béer and wine and most of the maie passen- 
gers celebrated their return to civilized ways. Then we began our 
headlong descent through scenery quite unlike what we had passed 
hitherto. It is a countryside of enchanting natural beauty; our dust 
cloud turned to powdered chocolaté from the deep red-brown 
earth and rock in which the road is eut. High on one side, deep on 
the other rose and fell dense green plantations of indigenous palm 
and plantain and the sturdy little cashew trees which the Portu- 
guese brought from Brazil. The watery depths of the valley were 
brilliant with young rice. The whole landscape tilted forward be- 
fore us to where the two fine ri vers break into a jumble of islands 
and streams and broad creeks, with beyond them the open sea. 

213 



EVELYN WAUGH 

Goa, particularly in the "Old Conquests," is better populated 
than appears from the road. Neat homesteads are hidden every- 
where in the trees. There are half a million inhabitants, most of 
whom eschew the towns. In our descent we were passing through 
the "New Conquests.'* There is a considérable différence between 
the two areas. The Old Conquests were Albuquerque's territory. 
He took them from Mohammedan invaders. To the Portuguese of 
that period ail Mohammedans were the hated Moors. Albuquerque 
exterminated the maies and gave the women as wives to his men. 
Hindus he treated with greater clemency but in effect they were 
given the choice of émigration or baptism. Within a génération al- 
most ail his subjects bore Portuguese names, professed the Chris- 
tian faith and were the ancestors of the most devout and moral 
people in India. He destroyed ail the temples, many of which are 
reputed to hâve been splendid works of art. In exténuation of this 
aesthetic outrage it may be said that Hindu art probably struck 
him and his contemporaries as being not only expressive of an 
erroneous theology, but also preposterously obscène. The Old 
Conquests préserve their ancient egalitarian System of land tenure; 
each man, however far he travels, is bound to his ancestral village 
by his share in the common lands; each village committee préserves 
the list of its community and relieves its poor. 

The New Conquests were added in 1795, an âge of "enlighten- 
ment." There are many temples, not very ancient but gracions and 
commodious, still served by the dancing girls whose rôle has been 
abolished in most parts of India. We passed one near Ponda, a 
glimpse at the end of a fine avenue quickly obliterated by our 
cloud of dust. There is a child Raja living without ostentation be- 
side the temple of Sunda and farther south a feudal nobleman, a 
gunner officer in the Indian army. The villages and farms of the 
New Conquests are shabbier than those of the Old, for the wealth- 
ier Hindus congregate in the towns, where most of the shops are 
in their hands. There are plenty of Hindus among the Christians 
and some Christians among the Hindus, living independently but 
amicably side by side. In gênerai, however, the old frontier holds 
and divides two distinct cultures. 

We crossed it at the bridge over the Combat jua and almost at 
once were skirting Old Goa: another glimpse through the dust — 
white cupolas, an arch, latérite walls hairy as coconuts with dry 

214 



ST. FRANCIS XAVIEr's BONES 

weed — then a metaled road beside the river Mandovi, a great 
stretch of tidal water full of small sails, with wooded hills beyond; 
and so to New Goa or Pangim, the modem capital. 

There is nothing outstandingly modem in Pangim except the 
hôtel, which is so new that it was still being loudly built during 
the festival month which it had been designed to serve. That alone 
breaks the charm of the water front, whose remarkable features are 
the fine, placid old Government House and a wildly vivacious new 
statue of the Abbé Farias, a Goan mesmerist of the Napoleonic 
era, mentioned by Dumas and caught hère in hot bronze at the 
climax of an experiment, rampant over an entranced female. 

Pangim makes no pretensions to gaiety. The transient Portu- 
guese officiais are economical, the Goan résidents home-loving. 
Week-end tourists from Bombay hâve grown in numbers since 
Prohibition. Thèse alone, in normal times, disturb the tranquillity 
of the town. In honor of the Festival loudspeakers had been set up 
in the main squares. In one of thèse was a neat little Industrial 
Exhibition and a temporary café. There was also an exhibition of 
modem art which deserved more attention than it got. Ail other 
activity was on the quay and at the bus station, for Pangim, that 
month, was purely a place for passage for Old Goa, eight miles 
upstream. 

There are many vivid accounts of Old Goa both in its prosperity 
and its ruin. Its prosperity lasted barely one hundred and fifty 
years. Its ruin was swift, caused by Dutch rivalry and the sheer 
lack of Portuguese manpower, and accelerated by plague and 
fever. Most travelers reached it after a voyage of great privation 
and danger. Perhaps they tended to exaggerate the splendors they 
found. There was treasure certainly and warehouses full of expen- 
sive Eastern merchandise; but there was little that could be called 
"civilization," either Asiatic or European. The masons built solidly 
but they foUowed without imagination a limited range of models. 
Most of the portraits of Viceroys and Patriarchs are of historical 
interest only. In population Old Goa equaled EHzabethan London, 
but most of its inhabitants were servile, and the social life, even 
of the prospérons and important, sounds devoid of charm. Those 
sweltering, swaggering fidalgos and their sickly womenfolk with 
their palanquins and sweets and scents and retinues of handmaids 
were not real ladies and gentlemen but the rifîrafî of Portugal, 

215 



EVELYN WAUGH 

overdressed and overprivileged. The Church alone sustained what 
there was of culture; and the Church alone displays some of its 
former grandeur today. 

The city was abandoned in 1759. Its palaces and collèges were 
used as quarries. The jungle closed in, thrusting roots between the 
latérite blocks. Vaults and façades crumbled into the steep streets. 
A hundred years la ter Richard Burton, then a subaltern on sick 
leave from Bombay, found only the huge Convent of St. Monica 
inhabited. He did not know it — he was too busy listening to scan- 
dalous stories to inquire — but there were barely a dozen nuns liv- 
ing there at the time of his impertinent visit. The last of them sur- 
vived alone into the late '70s, when the illustrions foundation came 
to an end. The vast, buttressed walls stood firm but the paintings 
flaked away in the cloisters and the odorous, enclosed garden ran 
ail to weed. It had enjoyed a remarkable history, guarding its 
strict and secret piety among the gaming houses and brothels, re- 
ceiving splendid benefactions, passing through the little revolving 
hatch that was its access to the world of commerce spécial sweet- 
meats for sale and délicate pièces of needlework; sheltering once a 
stigmatic German sister and a crucifix which is said to hâve re- 
buked a mitigation of rule with fresh-flowing blood. 

It was the last religions house to survive the législation of the 
anticlérical faction in Portugal. When Santa Monica stood empty 
the soûl of Old Goa seemed finally to hâve départe d. Memories of 
fever and plague haunted it. No one cared to stay there after sun- 
set. The Canons of the Cathedral came punctually to their stalls 
and sang their daily office but returned to Pangim to sleep. Like 
Gibbon ruminating on the steps of Ara Coeli, many romantic 
trippers in the last hundred years hâve stood under the Arch of the 
Viceroys, considered the vanity of earthly empire and indulged in 
forebodings of the future of British India. The last of thèse was 
Robert Byron who, quite without foundation, reported that the 
Cathedral housed a mechanical organ. 

In the last two years there has been a stir in the city's sleep. Of- 
ficiais hâve exterminated the mosquitoes. Végétation and rubble 
hâve been cleared so that the four great remaining churches stand 
in an open space. Several of the chapels that lie around them are 
being repaired. There is a plan to use Santa Monica as the arch- 
diocesan seminary. But during the festival month the area was 

216 



ST. FRANCIS XAVIEr's BONES 

transformée! into a fairground and bivouac. The pilgrims were in 
possession, an ever-changing population of some fifty thousand 
men, women and children. 

The Papal Délégation and high ofîîcers had been there for the 
opening cérémonies and were gone before I arrived. Day after day 
I watched the changing parade of Christian India with inexhaust- 
ible fascination. Sometimes a wealthy family or an officiai from 
the Government of India would arrive in a private car, enter pri- 
vately ahead of the queue, pay their homage and turn home. One 
day half a village community of black little aboriginals were led 
in by the priest who had just converted them. They had never be- 
fore left their ancestral forest and had no idea that the world con- 
tained so many other Christians. 

There were prospérons Goan parishes marching in procession, 
men and women apart, carrying wands and banners, singing lit- 
anies and wearing the insignia of pious sodalities. For thèse a whole 
bazaar had been constructed selling souvenirs and rosaries and béer. 
But the traders were not doing quite as well as they had hoped. 
At last, after two hundred years, the Jesuits were again in charge, 
and everything was more efficiently ordered than on previous oc- 
casions. And the overwhelming majority of pilgrims were very 
poor people who had pinched and saved and borrowed to raise 
their fares. They carried bundles of provisions and when they were 
not praying they were cooking and eating. They prayed long and 
often with rapt dévotion, resolutely visiting ail the altars and ail 
the statues, kissing the stones; and they ate long and often, squat- 
ting in groups over the wood smoke and spicy steam, chattering 
in half a dozen languages. 

When a bishop passed — and prelates were plentiful there ail that 
month — they would rise and dart to kiss his ring. They came from 
ail over India and Ceylon but mostly from the southern coast be- 
tween Bombay and Madras which had heard the preaching of St. 
Francis Xavier. They were the descendants of his couverts. Al- 
ways, from before dawn until late evening, patient queues formed 
and moved slowly forward to the side door of the Cathedral. Hith- 
erto the relies had been exposed in the Jesuit church of Bom Jésus. 
Now for the first and last time they stood in the transept of the 
Cathedral. They were the goal of the pilgrimage. Three quarters 
of a million Indians were coming to thank a Spaniard, who had 

217 



EVELYN WAUGH 

died far away, just four hundred years ago, for their gift of Faith. 

Francis Xavier is no figure of tradition and legend. Générations 
of patient scholars, culminating in Father George Schurhammer, 
S.J., hâve collected and collated the évidence. Last year the fruit 
of their work was set before EngKsh readers in the lively narrative 
of Father James Brodrick, S.J. "Lively" is the right word, not 
merely for the vivacious humor of the writing, but for the whole 
image he has created, a study "from the Hfe," complète in the 
round, seeming palpable. Francis Xavier lived in an âge of great 
adventurers. In England v^e incline to regard our Elizabethan sea 
dogs as unique national heroes. The Portuguese went first and went 
farther, and among those fierce and fearless men, Francis Xavier 
was pre-eminent in daring and endurance. In him renaissance exu- 
bérance coexisted with médiéval faith — faith Hke a météorite, com- 
pact, imperméable, incorruptible. But there was another compo- 
nent which belongs to no period in time — an insatiable love for his 
fellow men. Love raised him to the altars of the Church and love 
keeps him alive in the hearts of his devotees today. He believed 
that those who died in the darkness of heathenism were in danger 
of eternal damnation. The most perfect gift Love could bring was 
Christian Truth. That was the single, irrésistible force that drove 
him across seas wide open to piracy, through forts seething with 
disease and sin, along inland tracks devoid of food and shelter, to 
wherever he could find a foothold and a hearing. 

Ten years were the total span of his stupendous mission. He 
came to the East under obédience, a Jesuit priest, one of the earhest 
companions of St. Ignatius Loyola. The King of Portugal required 
Jesuits in his Eastern empire. There were few to choose from then. 
Even so Francis Xavier was a second choice. Had a coUeague not 
fallen iil he might hâve completed his life in a European uni- 
versity. 

Goa was his base. There he began his work and there, three 
times, he returned to re-equip himself for his great journeys and 
to attend to local ecclesiastical afîairs. His mission lay wherever 
there were soûls to be saved. The colonists, their slaves and pris- 
oners, the newly converted Indians, the heathen — ail were in his 
charge, and his methods were as diverse as the peoples. He walked 
the streets of Goa with a hand bell, calling ail and sundry to prayer. 
He dined with the luxurious and laughed them out of their ex- 

218 



ST. FRANCIS XAVIEr's BONES 

cesses. He lay nightlong beside the dying in the crowded and 
stifling hospitals, hearing confessions and whispering comfort. He 
stood among the fishing boats and taught through an interpréter 
the simple prayers that are used there today. Basque was his mother 
tongue, to which he reverted as he lay dying. His Portuguese, as 
appears in his letters, was imperfect. Of the numberless languages 
of Asia he had a bare smattering, but nowhere except among the 
Japanese did he meet with misunderstanding. He had the gift of 
tongues which springs from love and burns its way into the mind 
without the intermediary of words. He was possessed by the 
Word. He covered, in his ten years, ail that was known of Asia, 
he penetrated unknown Japan and fell at last with his dying eyes 
on China, quite worn out at the âge of forty-six and still yearning 
for further conquests. 

During his lifetime he was recognized as a saint. When the news 
of his death reached Malacca his bones were sent for, from where 
he had been buried in lime on the island of Sancian. Thus was fîrst 
observed the phenomenon whose strangeness caught the imagina- 
tion of East and West alikc. After ten weeks he was found as fresh 
and supple and flushed as on the day he died. The body was taken 
to Malacca and reburied there, bent double and pressed down 
under the floor of the church. There it remained until news of 
his death reached Goa. The capital of the Indies required it, and 
five months later it was again dug up and again found incorrupt 
and unchanged except for some wounds caused by its clumsy 
burial. 

The body, now acclaimed as miraculous, was borne to Goa and 
rapturously welcomed. It was also carefuliy examined by doctors 
and pronounced to be untouched by any embalmer. On several 
subséquent occasions it was re-examined by critical foreigners and 
found in a state of preternatural préservation. An elaborate silver 
casket was made for it and later mounted on a monument of Tus- 
can marbie. There it stands today in the old Jesuit church of Bom 
Jésus. 

For a hundred and fifty years it defîed corruption though much 
mishandled by the curions and the pious. One overpious lady bit 
ofî a toe and smuggled it away to Lisbon. The Pope sent for an 
arm. On both occasions there was a flow of fresh blood. 

But some signs of a desiccation had begun to appear. Early in 

219 



EVELYN WAUGH 

the eighteenth century the Jesuits submitted that the spectacle had 
ceased to be edifying, and should be decently abandoned. The 
King of Portugal ordered that the casket should be opened only 
at the command of the Viceroy. Then in 1757 Pombal, the anti- 
clérical minister of the King of Portugal, had the Jesuits expelled 
from the King's dominions. Pombal fell in 1777, and in 1782 the 
casket was once more laid open to the lips of the people. The body 
was by then quite dry and stifï. Since then there has been an expo- 
sition every ten years. 

The body is now ofîîcially spoken of merely as "the relies" of 
the saint. At their final exposition the face, an arm and a foot were 
ail that appeared from the sumptuous vestments. The side panels 
of the casket were removed; the open cofîin was pulled out a few 
inches to allow the pilgrims to kiss the withered foot. This was 
what they had come for; not to see a miracle but to say thank you 
and to seek protection. Hour after hour they filed past, paying 
their inherited debt of love. On January sixth the casket was car- 
ried back to Bom Jésus, its doors locked, and the saint's restless 
bones at last found peace, not to be touched or seen again until 
the Day of Judgment. 

His beloved Goans stand guard over him and he over them. He 
is their single renowned possession. India is littered with prodigious 
monuments — Buddhist, Jain, Hindu, Mohammedan and the Anglo- 
Saxon engineer hâve responded to the vast wealth of the place, ex- 
panded and sought to perpetuate themselves. 

Goa has St. Francis Xavier and his spirit can be recognized in 
every face; not his exubérance, perhaps, though Goans are great 
travelers, but his faith and love. Goans hâve a peculiar, pervading, 
unobtrusive benignity which is not found anywhere except in 
deeply Christian places. They had a spécial place in his story. They 
made a home for him. They were his beginning, not the remote 
unattainable end of his striving. To them he returned to take stock 
and recuperate. To them finally he was borne in triumph. And 
they are making a congenial home for him still. 



220 



Albert Camus 



THE SPIRIT OF ALGIERS 



Just after Albert Camus was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature, 
Esquire published the following note on Camus as a préface to a short 
story of his in the February 1958 issue: 

"It is a testimony to the immediacy of Albert Camus's writing, as 
well as to the quality, that he should hâve been honored with the 
1957 Nobel Prize in Literature so early in his career (he is only 
forty-four), and on the basis of so few books. He has published only 
one full-length novel (The Plague)^ two novelettes (The Stranger 
and The Fall), and two essays (The Alyth of Sisyphus and The 
Rebel). A collection of his short stories (Exile mid the Kingdom)^ in 
which "The Growing Stone" will be included, will appear in this 
country next month. 

"The Nobel Committee cited Camus's markedly personal approach 
to the great fundamental problems of life; and one sees how in his 
work the paradox of life is dramatized by man's situation: man 
fînds himself pressed, suddenly, into corners, his life flared in one 
illuminating moment, and it is his action — or lack of action — in that 
moment which defines him for Camus. The irony appears (in his 
fiction) when each crisis seems a new test, with no particular con- 
tinuity between past and présent, présent and future. For, in the end. 
Camus would say, Man's situation is absurd. He is lent dignity and 
stature only as he becomes conscious of his absurdity, when he per- 
ceives the tragic nature of life and of his individual and necessary 
rôle within it." 

Five years car lier, in the December 1953 issue, his essay "The 
Spirit of Algiers" had appeared without any accompanying note. If 
one had been included it would hâve referred to the article's original 
date of composition, 1936 (when Camus was twenty-three years of 
âge), and then remarked that "The Spirit of Algiers" was published 
originally in a collection of essays, Noces. In 1942 it was reprinted in 
France as part of The Myth of Sisyphus, which was translated 
into English in 1955. In the last book, the essay is entitled "Summer in 
Algiers," and though in a différent translation, it is essentially the 
same work. 

221 



ALBERT CAMUS 

Camus himself was born and educated in Algeria and the sensé of 
physicality, of the sun and of the flesh, that émerges hère is an image 
of Algeria that has persisted in his later work. It is the dominant ex- 
ternal impression of his years in Algeria, or so one gathers from his 
novels and essays. 

Some of the ideas and associations which appear later in Camus's 
writing are also présent in this essay, although in a somewhat différent 
form. But the people of Algiers described hère embody certain of his 
imperatives, and the pièce is almost a hymn to their passionate living. 
One must live, Camus believes, and the important thing is not to live 
better but to live more. To Hvc without illusions and without myths, 
without consolations and without self -déceptions; rather one must 
start with the présent and live fully within it. This is the "spirit of 
Algiers," as well as a portrait of Camus at twenty-three, living in a 
world curved with sun and opulence, and viewed (by him) with ad- 
miration, sensually. 



THEY ARE OFTEN SECRET, THE LOVES YOU SHARE WITH A PLACE. 

Cities like Paris, Prague, and even Florence are turned in upon 
themselves, and so limit the society which is natural to them. But 
Algiers, and with it certain privileged places, cities on the sea, open 
out into the sky like a mouth or a wound. The things one loves in 
Algiers are the things everyone lives by: the sea at every turning, a 
certain burden in the sunshine, the beauty of the people. And, as 
always, in this shamelessness, in this offering, there is an even more 
secret perfume. In Paris, one can hâve a longing for space and the 
beating of wings. Hère man is overwhelmed, and, assured of his 
desires, he can take stock of his riches. 

Undoubtedly you must live in Algiers for a long time to under- 
stand how withering an excess of natural goods can be. There is 
nothing hère for the man who wants to learn, to educate himself, 
or to better himself. This is a country without lessons. It neither 
makes promises nor drops hints. It is satisfîed with giving, but in 
profusion. It is completely given over to the eyes, and you know 
it as soon as you enjoy it. Its pleasures are past remedy, and its joys 
without hope. It calls for spirits that are clear-sighted, that is, 
bereft of consolation. It requires one to make an act of lucidity as 
one makes an act of faith. A strange land that bestows upon the 
man it sustains both his grandeur and his misery! It is not surpris- 

222 



THE SPIRIT OF ALGIERS 

ing that the sensuous riches with which a sensitive man is provided 
in this country coincide with the most extrême poverty. There is 
no truth which does not bring with it its own bitterness. Why then 
be surprised if I no longer love the face of this land except among 
its poorest people? 

Throughout their youth hère men fînd a life in proportion to 
their beauty; and afterwards there is a décline and a forgetting. 
They put their stakes on the flesh, but they knew they were going 
to lose. In Algiers, to the man who is young and alive, everything 
ofïers an escape and an excuse for triumphs: the bay, the sun, the 
red and white play of terraces toward the sea, the flowers and the 
sports grounds, the girls with cool legs. But for him who has lost 
his youth, there is nothing to cling to and nowhere for melancholy 
to escape from itself. Elsewhere, on Italian terraces, in the cloisters 
of Europe, or along the outline of Provençal hills, there are many 
places where man can flee from his humanity and gently get free 
of himself. But everything hère calls for solitude and the blood of 
young men. Goethe, on his deathbed, cried out for light, and that 
has become a historic saying. In Belcourt and in Bab-el-Oued, old 
men sitting at the backs of cafés listen to the boastings of young 
men with plastered hair. 

Thèse beginnings and thèse ends, it is summer that brings them 
to us in Algiers. During thèse months the wealthy désert the city. 
But the poor remain, and the sky. Along with them we go down 
together toward the port and man's treasures: the warmth of the 
water and the brown bodies of women. And at night, gorged with 
thèse riches, they go back to the oilcloth and the oil lamp that 
furnish ail the scenery of their lives. 

In Algiers, you bathe in the harbor and then go and rest on a 
raft. When you go near a raft where there is a pretty girl, you 
shout to your friends: "I tell you, she's a peach." Those are healthy 
pleasures. One must believe that they constitute the idéal of thèse 
young people since most of them continue this life during the win- 
ter, and every day at noon they gather naked in the sun for a frugal 
meal. Not that they hâve read the duU tracts of the nudists, those 
Protestants of the flesh (there is a systemization of the body which 
is as irritating as that of the mind). But they are happy in the sun. 

Not nearly enough importance will ever be placed upon this 
habit of our âge. For the first time in two thousand years the body 

223 



ALBERT CAMUS 

may be seen naked on the beaches. For twenty centuries men hâve 
striven to make Greek insolence and naïveté décent, to diminish 
the importance of the flesh and to complicate dress. Today, after 
ail this history, the stretches of young people on Mediterranean 
beaches go back to the magnificent gestures of the athlètes of Delos. 
And living in this way, beside the flesh and by the flesh, they see 
that the flesh has its shades, its life and — to venture a bit of non- 
sense — a psychology of its own. 

May I lay myself open to ridicule by saying that I do not like 
the way in v^hich Gide exalts the flesh? He calis upon it to delay 
désire in order to sharpen désire. Thus he is like those who, in the 
slang of the brothel, are called complicated or cérébral. Christian- 
ity also wants to defer désire. But it is more natural and sees in this 
déférence a mortification. My friend Vincent, who is a cooper and 
a junior swimming champion, has an even clearer view of things. 
He drinks when he is thirsty, if he desires a woman he tries to sleep 
with her, and wouid marry her if he were in love with her (that 
hasn't happened yet). Afterwards, he always says, "That's better" 
— which sums up forcefully the apology one might make for 
satiety. 

The évolution of the flesh, like that of the mind, has its history, 
its setbacks, its advances and its losses. With this différence only: 
color. When you go to the harbor baths during the summer, you 
become aware of the simultaneous passing of every skin from white 
to gold, then to brown, and finally to tobacco color, the ultimate 
effort of transformation of which the body is capable. The harbor 
is dominated by the play of the white cubes of the Casbah. When 
you are at water level, against the crude white background of the 
Arab city, the bodies unfold a copper frieze. And as August ad- 
vances and the sun grows greater, the white of the houses becomes 
more blinding, and the skins take on a more somber warmth. How 
then escape identifying yourself with this dialogue of stone and 
flesh, as the sun and the seasons pass? The whole morning is spent 
diving, in blossoming laughter amid sprays of water, in long paddle 
strokes around red and black cargo vessels (those that come from 
Norway are ail scented with wood; those from Germany are fllled 
with the smell of oil; those that hug the coast smell of wine and 
old casks). When sunshine is spilling from every corner of the sky, 
an orange canoë laden with brown bodies draws us into a crazy 

224 



THE SPIRIT OF ALGIERS 

race. Then the cadenced beating of the double paddle, the blades 
the color of fruit, is suspended sharply and we glide along in the 
still water of the harbor: how can I hâve any doubts that I am 
piloting over the smooth waters a wild cargo of gods in whom I 
recognize my brothers? 

But at the other end of the town, summer is already ofFering us 
her other riches: I mean her moments of silence and her boredom. 
Thèse moments of silence difïer in quality, according to whether 
they spring from shadow or shade of the bordering trees. Arabs sell 
for iîve francs glasses of iced lemonade flavored with orange flow- 
ers. Their cry, "Ice cold, ice cold!" carries across the empty square. 
After their cries, silence falls again under the sunshine: in the 
vendor's jug, the ice turns round and I hear its tiny noise. There is 
the silence of siesta. In the streets along the sea front, outside the 
hairdressers' dirty shops, it can be measured by che musical buzz- 
ing of Aies behind the curtains made of hollow reeds. Elsewhere, 
in the Moorish cafés of the Casbah, it is the flesh that is silent, that 
cannot tear itself away from thèse places, leave the glass of tea and 
discover time again in the sounds of its own blood. But, above ail, 
there is the silence of summer evenings. 

Thèse brief moments, when day slips into night, are they 
thronged with secret signs and calls — is that why Algiers is so 
bound to them in my imagination? Sometimes when I am far away 
from this country, I conjure up its twilights like promises of hap- 
piness. Over the hills which dominate the city there are roads 
among the mastic and olive trees. And it is toward them that my 
heart turns. I see sprays of black birds climb toward the green 
horizons. In the sky, empty suddenly of sunshine, something grad- 
ually relaxes. A tiny host of red clouds string out until they are 
absorbed back into the air. Almost immediately afterwards appears 
the first star, and then, in one stride, comes the devouring night. 

Fleeting evenings in Algiers, what unequalled quality do they 
possess to stir so many things in me? The sweetness that they leave 
on my lips, I hâve not time to weary of before it disappears in the 
night. Is that the secret of its persistence? 

On Padovani beach the dance hall is open every day. And in the 
huge rectangular night club, open to the sea its whole length long, 
the poor young people of the district dance until evening. Often, 
I used to wait there for an unusual moment. During the day, the 

225 



ALBERT CAMUS 

hall is protected by sloping wooden screens. When the sun has 
disappeared, they are raised. Then the hall is filled with a strange 
green light, born of the double shell of sea and sky. Sitting away 
from the windows, you see only the sky and the faces of the pass- 
ing dancers, as in a shadow théâtre. Night cornes quickly then and 
with it the lights. 

I cannot put into words how moving and how secret this subtle 
moment is to me. I remember, though, a tall splendid girl who had 
danced ail afternoon. She wore a jasmine necklace over her cling- 
ing blue dress that was wet with sweat from her bips down her 
legs. She laughed as she danced and tossed back her head. When 
she came close to the table, she left floating after her the mingled 
smell of flowers and flesh. When evening arrived, I could no longer 
see her body pressed against her partner's, but against the sky 
moved the alternate spots of white jasmine and black hair, and 
when she threw back her full bosom I could hear her laugh and 
see her partner's profile bend down suddenly. My idea of inno- 
cence, I owe to nights like thèse. In any event, I learn no longer 
to separate thèse beings laden with violent feelings from the sky 
where their desires whirl. 

In suburban cinémas in Algiers, they sometimes sell peppermints 
which bear, marked in red, everything essential to the birth of 
love: i) questions: "Do you love me?" "When will you marry 
me?"; 2) Answers: "Madly"; "In the spring." After preparing the 
ground, you pass them to your neighbor who replies in a similar 
fashion or simply plays the fool. In Belcourt, they hâve seen mar- 
riages arranged in this way and whole lives committed by the ex- 
change of peppermint sweets. And this gives a good picture of the 
childlike people of this country. 

The sign of youth is, perhaps, a splendid inclination toward 
easily won happiness. But, above ail, it is an eagerness to live which 
comes near squandering. In Belcourt, as in Bab-el-Oued, they 
marry young. They go to work very early, and they use up in ten 
years the expérience of a man's life. A thirty-year-old workman 
has already played ail his cards. He awaits the end with his wife 
and his children. His happiness has been short and merciless. So has 
his life. And you understand that he is born of this country where 
everything is given only to be taken away. In this abundance and 

226 



THE SPIRIT OF ALGIERS 

profusion, life takes the curve of the great passions, sudden, exact- 
ing, generous. It is not to be built, but to be burned. So there is 
no question of contemplating and of becoming better. 

The idea of hell, for example, is only a mild joke hère. An imagi- 
nation of this kind is allowed only to the very virtuous. And I be- 
lieve that virtue is a word without meaning ail over Algeria. Not 
that thèse men lack principles. They hâve their morality, and a 
very spécial one. They do not neglect their mothers. They see that 
their wives are respected in the streets. They are considerate to 
pregnant women. They do not attack an adversary in pairs, be- 
cause "that isn't done." The one who does not observe thèse ele- 
mentary rules "is not a man" and that settles the afîair. This seems 
just and strict to me. We are still very far from obeying uncon- 
sciously this code of the street, the only disinterested one I know. 
ï hâve seen people's faces around me soften with pity whenever a 
man went by surrounded by policemen and, before they knew 
whether the man had stolen, was a parricide or simply a noncon- 
formist: "The poor chap," they said, or again, with a shade of ad- 
miration: "That one's a pirate." 

There are races born to pride and life. They are the ones that 
foster the most remarkable inclination towards boredom. They are 
the ones, too, in whom the attitude toward death is most repellent. 
Putting the joys of the sensés aside, the amusements of thèse peopîe 
are among the silliest. A bowling club, association banquets, the 
shilling cinéma and community fêtes hâve for years provided adé- 
quate récréation for those over thirty. Sundays in Algiers are 
among the most sinister days in the world. How then could thèse 
unthinking people clothe with myths the deep horror of their life? 
Everything connected with death hère is a subject of fun or of 
hâte. Thèse people without religion or idols die alone after living 
in a crowd. 

I well know that such a people cannot be accepted by everyone. 
Hère, intelligence has no place, as it has in Italy. This race is in- 
diffèrent to the mind. It has a cuit and an admiration of the fîesh. 
From iiesh it draws its strength, its naïve cynicism and a childish 
vanity which deserves to be judged severely. Hère it is a people 
without a past, without a tradition, and yet not without poetry — 
but a poetry whose quality is hard and sensual, far from tender- 
ness, the same as their sky, the only poetry that truly moves me 

227 



ALBERT CAMUS 

and makes me at one with myself. The opposite of a civilized 
people is a créative people. Thèse barbarians sprawling on the 
beaches — I hâve the f ooHsh hope that, perhaps without their know- 
ing, they are in the act of fashioning the face of a culture in which 
man's grandeur will at last find its true countenance. Thèse peo- 
ple entirely given over to their présent live without myths, with- 
out consolation. They hâve put ail their goods on this earth, and 
accordingly they are defenseless against death. 

Everything made hère shows a distaste for stability and a heed- 
lessness of the future. There is a rush to live, and if an art was to 
be born hère, it would obey that hatred of duration that drove the 
Dorians to carve their first column in wood. Between this sky and 
thèse faces turned toward it there is nothing on which to hang a 
mythology, a literature, a philosophy, or a religion, but stones, 
fîesh, stars and those truths that the hand can touch. 

Oneness is expressed hère in terms of sunshine and of sea. It is 
felt in the heart in a certain human désire which contains its own 
bitterness and its own grandeur. Gradually I corne to the knowl- 
edge that there is no superhuman happiness, no eternity outside the 
curve of days. Thèse absurd, essential goods, thèse relative truths 
are the only ones that move me. The others, ideals, I hâve not 
enough heart to understand. ï do not wish to play the fool, but I 
cannot find any sensé in the happiness of angels. I know only that 
this will endure longer than ï. And what shall I call eternity, if 
not what goes on after my death? 

I am not expressing the satisfaction of an individual with his lot. 
It is something very différent. It is not always easy to be a man, 
still less to be a pure man. But to be pure is to rediscover the coun- 
try of the soûl where the relationship of the world becomes per- 
ceptible, where the beating of the blood meets the violent pulsa- 
tions of the two-o'clock sun. It is a well-known fact that you al- 
ways recognize your native land when you are about to lose it. 
For those who are too tortured by themselves, their native land is 
the one that rejects them. I should not like to be brutal nor seem 
to exaggerate. But, in short, those things in this life that reject me 
are first of ail those things which make me die. Everything that 
exalts life at the same time increases its absurdity. In the Algerian 
summer I learn that one thing is more tragic than sufîering, and 

228 



THE SPIRIT OF ALGIERS 

that is the life of a happy man. But this may also be the road to a 
larger life, since it leads one not to cheat. 

Many, in fact, prétend to a love of living in order to élude love 
itself. They try to enjoy themselves and to "make experiments." 
But this is a point of view of the mind. One needs an exceptional 
gift to be a sensualist. A man's life cornes to an end without the 
help of his mind, with its retreats and advances, its simultaneous 
solitude and présence. To see thèse men of Belcourt working, sup- 
porting their wives and their children, I believe it possible to feel 
a secret shame. I hâve no illusions; there is not much love in the 
lives I am speaking of . I ought to say there is no longer very much. 
But at least they hâve evaded nothing. There are words that I 
hâve never understood very well, like sin. Yet I believe I know 
that thèse men hâve not sinned against life. For if there is one sin 
against life, it is not so much in despairing as in hoping for another 
life and slipping away from the implacable grandeur of this one. 
Thèse men hâve not cheated. They were summer gods at twenty 
because of their eagerness to live, and thus they remain deprived of 
ail hope. I hâve seen two of them die. They were filled with horror, 
but silent. ît is better thus. From Pandora's box in which swarmed 
the evils of humanity, the Greeks let out hope after ail the others, 
as the most terrible of ail. I know of no more moving symbol. For 
hope, contrary to what people believe, is the équivalent of résigna- 
tion. And to live is not to be resigned. 

Hère is the bitter lesson of Algerian summers. But already the 
season is trembling and summer is slipping away. The first Sep- 
tember rains, after so much violence and tenseness, are like the fîrst 
tears of the liber ated earth, as if for a few days this country were 
stirring with tenderness. At the same time the acacias spread an 
odor of love over the whole of Algeria. In the evening or after the 
rain, the entire earth, her belly wet with a seed perfumed with bit- 
ter almond, rests from having given herself ail summer long to the 
sun. And once again, this odor consecrates the marriage of man and 
earth and awakes in us the only truly virile love in this world, 
perishable and bounteous. 



229 



Alberto Moravia 



THE CHINESE DOG 



"Alberto Moravia" (a pen name for Alberto Pincherle) fîrst received 
attention in America when his Woman of Rortie appeared in 1949, 
although he had achieved récognition in Italy as early as 1929 with the 
publication of his first novel when he was twenty-two. Since then, he 
has been widely read in this country with such novels as The Fcmcy 
Dress Party, Conjugal Love, and the récent Two Women. 

He has pubHshed many short stories, not ail of which hâve yet ap- 
peared in America. Farrar, Straus and Cudahy published his Bitter 
Honeymoon and Other Stories in 1954 and another sélection, Roman 
Taies, in 1957. When Roman Taies was published in Italy it was issued 
in three volumes and contained many stories which were omitted 
from the single-volume Farrar, Straus édition. "The Chinese Dog," 
which appeared in the Italian édition, was one of those omitted from 
the American; thus, it appears hère reprinted for the first time since 
its appearance in Esquire in January 1956. 



THAT WINTER, IN ORDER TO MAKE A LIVING, I FINALLY HAD TO 

resort to dog catching. Not on the payroll of the city, which then 
has the dogs exterminated, but on my own, in view of the tips I 
was given for each of the dogs stolen by me. I would go to one 
of the prospérons sections of town at the time of day when the 
maids take the dogs walking and, in my pocket, I would hâve a 
cord with a slide knot tied into it. As soon as one of those maids 
came out, I would start following her, at a distance. Maidservants, 
as is known, hâve few chances to take their minds off things, and 
take advantage of thèse respites to meet with some woman friend 
or else with their maie friends. The maid would let the dog run 
loose, and immediately he would trot on ahead, sniffing and stop- 
ping to lift his leg at each corner or tree. When I saw that the maid 
was deep in conversation, I would approach the dog, slip the cord 
over his head, and duck around the street corner. Then the next 

230 



THE CHINESE DOG 

problem was getting to Tormarancio, where I lived. Partly by 
foot, and partly with the help of some taxi drivers who lived out 
that way, I would get as far as the Garbatella stop and, from 
there, on one of those open trucks that did bus service, I would 
finally get home. Home? Don't make me laugh. Let's put it this 
way: I would finally get to that corner of a room that, along with 
a narrow cot, I rented from Bonifazi, a worker friend of mine. 
That same room served as sleeping quarters for him, his wife and 
his three children; with the resuit that at night the floor was one 
whole spread of maîtresses and if you wanted to get out, some 
one of them had to get up and make a roU of his mattress, to let 
you through. I would leave the dog with Bonifazi, who knew of 
this traffic, and the foUowing day I would go back to that building 
from which I had seen the maid émerge. I would tell the super- 
intendent how I had found such and such a dog. Immediately they 
would send for me, let me into an entrance hall that was ail marble 
and mirrors, and almost throw their arms around me out of grati- 
tude. The morning after, I would bring back the dog, pocket the 
tip, and start in ail over again. 

One day, with this System of the cord, I rounded up a strange 
dog, of a kind ï had never seen before. He looked like a lion — 
large head, round and covered with fur, a smoothly shaved body, 
a stubby snout, and a tongue that was purplish black. He was a 
good animal, but not very lively; more on the sad side, and almost 
thoughtful. He followed me with his head hanging low, as though 
he knew what was in store for him. 

That day it was raining. AU I had on my back was a thin ragged 
jacket and an undershirt; my shoes were full of holes — in a word 
I got so drenched that, on the truck, my teeth started chattering 
and, when I moved my toes, I could feel the water ooze through 
my socks and out through the shoe leather. Then in Tormarancio, 
which is in one of those low spots, the rain, as usual, had flooded 
the houses, and, instead of warmth, what I found was more water; 
and Bonifazi's wife shouting in despair, the children in tears, and 
Bonifazi himself trying to construct some sort of gangway across 
the flooded floor. I went straight to bed, without eating. That 
same night I broke out in a fever, and the following day I stayed 
in bed. The fever did not leave me for an entire week. I was in 
that corner, on that bed; with two clotheslines strung up over me 

231 



ALBERTO MORAVIA 

and my belongings hanging on them. From the depths of my fever 
I stared ont at the room, with ail its mattresses stacked into the 
corners, with other Unes and other clothes on them, crisscrossing 
in ail directions. It was almost always dark, since the rain did not 
let up, and two out of the three Windows had cardboard panes. 
Bonifazi's wife did the cooldng in the next room, which meant that 
I was always alone, but I didn't mind since when î feel bad I prefer 
not to talk. As for the dog, he was really good and, in order to 
keep the humidity from getting at him and making him ill, I had 
made a bed for him out of old rags and shavings, which I kept 
under my cot. I kept giving money to Bonifazi's wife to buy food 
for him; not because I had the tip on my mind, but because I like 
animais and hâte to make them suffer. On the seventh day I started 
raving, and I got the fixation that they wanted to take the dog 
away from me. I asked Bonifazi to hâve him put on my bed. Boni- 
fazi did that, and I put my arms around the dog's body, pressed 
my face into that warm fur of his, and f ell asleep hugging him. The 
dog didn't budge. During the night, due perhaps to that fur of his, 
I sweated so much that I was soaked; then I felt as though I were 
released from a grip, and in the morning the fever had gone. AU 
night long the dog had not moved. 

For the next few days I took it easy, and meanwhile the sun had 
come out again, and I went walking in the neighborhood, pulKng 
the dog behind me, on the cord. Just outside Tormarancio there 
are a number of shacks that make the Tormarancio ones look good 
by comparison. Do I hâve to describe them? — wooden crates and 
gas containers, topped oiî by sheets of corrugated roofing, sur- 
rounded by cane fences, and doorways so low that you hâve to 
stoop to get in. In one of thèse shacks there was a Chinese, of the 
kind that sells ties in Rome. He had come there a few years be- 
fore, and then had stayed, and he lived with a woman who was 
called Fesseria. She plied the usual trade; was thin, white, under- 
fed; with a long face and a pair of heavy black eyebrows, and 
black eyes. Her hair was thick, black and as soft as silk, and when 
she put on some lipstick, she even managed to be good-looking. 
The Chinese was pure Chinese; seen from the rear he might hâve 
been taken for one of those peasants from up north, squat and 
sturdy; but then he turned and you saw that he was Chinese. Well, 
with the dog I went walking in front of the Chinaman's shack, 

232 



THE CHINESE DOG 

and without delay both of them came out — she with a pail full of 
water that almost landed, when she emptied it, on my legs; and 
he holding a pot, since he was always cooking. The Chinese came 
up to me and, speaking good Italian since he talks the way I do, 
said: "This breed of dog comes from my country . . . he is 
Chinese." And he explained that, in China, thèse dogs are as com- 
mon as poodles hère. He also said that, if I wanted, he was willing 
to take him, since the dog reminded him of his country, and that 
he would cherish him. But ail he had to give in exchange was a 
couple of those raw-silk ties. I refused; what good were the ties 
when what I wanted was the cash reward. Fesseria, holding the 
pail, called out to me: "Luigi . . . so you won't give us the dog?" 
She was tantalizing, gay, jumping around from one puddle to the 
next on those long thin legs of hers. Even though I still felt pretty 
low, I couldn't help feeling attracted by her, so thin and white 
with that pair of black eyebrows. However, I said nothing at ail, 
and went back to Bonifazi's. 

The next day I went into Rome, to the building where I had 
first seen the maid. But then things start going wrong. . . . "He 
belonged to an American family," the woman of the building told 
me, "and the family had to leave; yesterday. After ail the fuss they 
made about the dog. . . . But anyway they had to leave, and they 
did." 

So there I was; a fine spécimen of a dog on my hands, and no 
idea what to do with him. At first I tried selling him, but that was 
no go. People took one look at my tattered clothes, and said that 
the dog was stolen goods, as was true. On the other hand, I did not 
want to take him to the dog pound, since there they would hâve 
put him to death, poor thing, whereas I still remembered the night 
when he had cured me with the warmth of his fur, and had never 
moved. Meanwhile, however, he was costing me money, since he 
ate a great deal and was not small-sized. 

One of those afternoons, I decided against going to the city. I 
left Tormarancio, which the sun had transformed from a swamp 
into a désert of dust, and climbed up to one of the nearby hills. By 
then, it was springtime; without a cloud in the sky, with ail that 
soft air and sunshine. Seen from up there even Tormarancio, with 
its long low houses and red roofs, seemed less of a prison camp 
than usual. The hill was covered with fresh tender green grass that 

233 



ALBERTO MORAVIA 

was pleasing to see and, in places, it looked as though there had 
been a snowfall, due to an outcropping of small daisies, so thick 
that the grass was hidden by them. I roamed around from hill to 
hill, my hands in my pockets, whistling. The illness had done me 
good and I could feel my heart fiUing with a kind of vague hope, 
looking out toward the horizon full of sun, and watching large 
white butterflies as they headed right into it. The dog had become 
quite lively for a change, and raced ahead. At a certain point I 
went downhill and started following a brook that flowed between 
two high hills. Then I heard the dog bark, raised my eyes, and saw 
Fesseria who was out walking too, alone, her hair loose on her 
shoulders, a blade of grass set between her teeth, her hands in the 
pockets of a striped smock of the kind worn by factory girls. She 
stopped and started playing with the dog, and then said, laughing: 
"Well, are you going to give us the dog?" Without pausing to 
think, I said: "FU give him to you, on one condition." 

To make a long story short, we made love; on the ground, be- 
tween those two high hills, next to the brook. The dog, meanwhile, 
had started lapping up the water in the brook with his purple 
tongue; then settled back and sat there on the grass, eying us; to 
the point that it almost unnerved me. And I did what I did not only 
because that woman appealed to me, but also because I liked the 
idea of giving the dog away in return for some love-making; since 
by then I had grown fond of him and it seemed to me that that 
was the right price for him. In the end,, we got up and Fesseria 
took the cord for the dog, saying: "He will be glad because it 
reminds him of his country." I stayed there, watching her go oiï 
with the dog, and I still had that feeling for her. Then I stretched 
out on the ground and slept for a couple of hours. 

The next morning I went into the city and stayed there over- 
night, with a dachshund that I had picked up near Piazza Santiago 
del Cile. I slept in a city dormitory, and then went back to Tor- 
marancio. That afternoon I went out walking again, with the 
dachshund, and happened to find myself in front of the shack of 
the Chinaman. 

Fesseria was away, probably having gone to Rome. But he w^as 
there, and he came out with a garbage can which he emptied back 
of the shack. Why, I don't know, but I would hâve liked him to 
thank me for the dog, so I asked him where he was. He smiled and 

234 



THE CHINESE DOG 

made a gesture which I didn't understand, and went back into the 
shack. The dachshund was poking around in the garbage. I went 
over and then I saw, in among the trash, the paw of the dog, 
smeared with blood but with ail its hair. 

Later I was told that in their country the people eat dogs, 
everybody does, and there is no harm in it. But, at the time, the 
blood mounted to my head. I entered the shack; he had his back 
to me and was bent over the stove. He turned around, smiling, 
with a plate that contained a pièce of dark-colored méat, in a 
sauce; and I realized that it was the méat of the dog and that he 
was inviting me to eat it. With my fist I sent the plate into his face, 
shouting: "Murderer! What hâve you done to the dog?" Imme- 
diateiy I realized that he did not understand why I was so mad. He 
ducked, ran out of the shack and headed toward Tormarancio. I 
scooped up a stone and hurled it at him; then I caught up with him 
and seized him by the neck. People rushed out and he kept holler- 
ing: "Grab him, he's crazy!" and I kept shaking him by the neck 
and shouting: "What did you do to the dog? Murderer! What 
did you do to the dog?" Finally they separated us, and got me 
onto the truck for Rome. 

That same day I took the dachshund back to its owners and they 
gave me a tip. But I did not go back to Tormarancio. I had no 
belongings anyway, and had left nothing at Bonifazi's. I owed him 
one month's rent and thought that, after ail, not ail ills are one 
hundred per cent harmful. At the same time, that afîair of the 
Chinese dog had given me a feeling of disgust for my livelihood, 
and I decided to change. I set myself up as a vendor, pushing 
around a cart filled with most everything — green olives, melon 
seeds, peeled chestnuts, peanuts, dried figs and walnuts. I twirled 
the wrapping paper into cônes ail day long, at the new bridge, at 
the entrance to the Aurélia tunnel, and more or less succeeded in 
keeping body and soûl together. In that period, I was always sad 
and life had little meaning for me, perhaps due to the dog. Only 
once I saw Fesseria, from a distance, but I did not speak to her. 
If she had told me that she too had eaten the dog, I think I would 
hâve killed her. 



235 



Aidons Huxley 



■ lim i MI II TT1 



BRAVE NEW WORLD REVISITED 



This is one in a séries of monthly essays which appeared in 
Esquive under the heading, "From the Study of Aldous Huxley," 
between July 1955 and April 1957. 

Whether he writes about Freudian theory or canned fish, Huxley's 
approach is always original, now heavily influenced by the Eastern 
Mysticism which goes into his Perennial Philosophy. Most contro- 
versial of ail the essays in this séries was "Brave New World 
Revisited," his re-evaluation of the satirically projected nightmare 
which he wrote twenty-four years earlier, Brave New World. 

We selected this essay from among some forty-iive pièces Huxley 
has contributed to our pages (as early as 1935, one of his short 
stories, "Visiting Stranger," appeared in Esquire) because it seems 
to us one of the most curious reversais in literature, and until now it 
has been seen only by those who read the July 1956 issue of Esquire. 

This essay bears no relation to Huxley's more recently published 
discussion of modem liberty, also entitled Brave New World Re- 
visited. 



THE MOST DISTRESSING THING THAT CAN HAPPEN TO A PROPHET IS 

to be proved wrong; the next most distressing thing is to be proved 
right. In the twenty-five years that hâve elapsed since Brave New 
World was written, I hâve undergone both thèse expériences. 
Events hâve proved me distressingly wrong; and events hâve 
proved me distressingly right. 

Hère are some of the points on which I was wrong. By the early 
Thirties Einstein had equated mass and energy, and there was al- 
ready talk of chain reactions; but the Brave New Worlders knew 
nothing of nuclear fission. In the early Thirties, too, we knew ail 
about conservation and irreplaceable resources; but their supply of 
metals and minerai fuel was just as copions in the seventh century 
After Ford as ours is today. In actual fact the raw material situa- 
tion will aiready be subcritical by AF 600 and the atom will be 

236 



BRAVE NEW WORLD REVISITED 

the principal source of industrial power. Again, the Brave New 
Worlders had solved the population problem and knew how to 
maintain a permanently favorable relationship between human 
numbers and natural resources. In actual fact, will our descendants 
achieve this happy consummation within the next six centuries? 
And if they do achieve it, will it be by dint of rational planning, 
or through the immémorial agencies of pestilence, famine and in- 
ternecine warfare? It is, of course, impossible to say. The only 
thing we can predict with a fair measure of certainty is that hu- 
manity (if its rulers décide to refrain from collective suicide) will 
be traveling at vertiginous speed along one of the most danger ous 
and congested stretches of its history. 

The Brave New Worlders produced their children in biochemi- 
cal factories. But though bottled babies are not completely out of 
the question, it is virtually certain that our descendants will in fact 
remain viviparous. Mother's Day is in no danger of being replaced 
by Bottle Day. My prédiction was made for strictly literary pur- 
poses, and not as a reasoned forecast of future history. In this mat- 
ter I knew in advance that I should be proved wrong. 

From biology we now pass to politics. The dictatorship de- 
scribe d in Brave Neiv World was global and, in its own peculiar 
way, benevolent. In the light of current events and developing 
tendencies, I sadly suspect that in this forecast, too, I may hâve 
been wrong. True, the seventh century After Ford is still a long 
way ofï, and it is possible that, by then, hard économie necessity, 
or the social chaos resulting from nuclear warfare, or military con- 
quest by one Great Power, or some grisly combination of ail 
three, will hâve bludgeoned our descendants into doing what we 
ought to be doing now, from motives of enlightened self-interest 
and common humanity — namely, to collaborate for the common 
good. In time of peace, and when things are going tolerably well, 
people cannot be expected to vote for measures which, though 
ultimately bénéficiai, may be expected to hâve certain disagreeable 
conséquences in the short run. Divisive forces are more powerful 
than those which make for union. Vested interests in languages, 
philosophies of life, table manners, sexual habits, political, eccle- 
siastical and économie organizations are sufficiently powerful to 
block ail attempts, by rational and peaceful methods, to unité man- 
kind for its own good. And then there is nationalism. With its 

237 



ALDOUS HUXLEY 

Fifty-Seven Varie ties of tribal gods, nationalism is the religion of 
the twentieth century. We may be Christians, Jews, Moslems, 
Flindus, Buddhists, Confucians or Atheists; but the fact remains 
that there is only one faith for which large masses of us are pre- 
pared to die and kill, and that faith is nationalism. That nationalism 
will remain the dominant religion of the human race for the next 
two or three centuries at the very least seems ail too probable. If 
total, nuclear war should be avoided, we may expect to see, not the 
rise of a single world state, but the continuance, in worsening con- 
ditions, of the présent System, under which national states compete 
for markets and raw materials and prépare for partial wars. Most 
of thèse states will probably be dictatorships. Inevitably so; for 
the increasing pressure of population upon resources will make 
domestic conditions more difficult and international compétition 
more intense. To prevent économie breakdown and to repress pop- 
ular discontent, the governments of hungry countries will be 
tempted to enforce ever-stricter controls. Furthermore, chronic 
undernourishment reduces physical energy and disturbs the mind. 
Hunger and self-government are incompatible. Even where the 
average diet provides three thousand calories a day, it is hard 
enough to make democracy work. In a society, most of whose 
members are living on seventeen hundred to two thousand calories 
a day, it is simply impossible. The undernourished majority will 
always be ruled, from above, by the well-fed few. As population 
increases (twenty-seven hundred miUions of us are now adding to 
our numbers at the rate of forty millions a year, and this increase 
is increasing according to the rules of compound interest) ; as geo- 
metrically increasing demands press more and more heavily on 
static or, at best, arithmetically increasing supplies; as standards of 
living are forced down and popular discontent is forced up; as the 
gênerai scramble for diminishing resources becomes ever fiercer, 
thèse national dictatorships will tend to become more oppressive 
at home, more ruthlessly compétitive abroad. "Government," says 
one of the Brave New Worlders, "is an afïair of sitting, not hitting. 
You rule with the brains and the buttocks, not the fîsts." But 
where there are many competing national dictatorships, each in 
trouble at home and each preparing for total or partial war against 
its neighbors, hitting tends to be preferred to sitting, fists, as an 
instrument of policy, to brains and the "masterly inactivity" (to 

238 



BRAVE NEW WORLD REVISITED 

cite Lord Salisbury's immortal phrase) of the hindquarters. In 
politics, the near future is Hkely to be doser to George Orwell's 
i^Szf than to Brave New World. 

Let me now consider a few of the points on which, I fear, I may 
hâve been right. The Brave New Worlders were the heirs and ex- 
ploiters of a new kind of révolution, and this révolution was, in 
effect, the thème of my fable. Past révolutions hâve ail been in 
fîelds external to the individual as a psychophysical organism — in 
the field, for example, of ecclesiastical organization and religions 
dogma, in the field of économies, in the field of political organiza- 
tion, in the field of technology. The coming révolution — the révo- 
lution whose conséquences are described in Brave Neiv World — 
will afïect men and women, not peripherally, but at the very core 
of their organic being. The older revolutionaries sought to change 
the social environment in the hope (if they were idealists and not 
mère power seekers) of changing human nature. The coming revo- 
lutionaries will make their assault directly on human nature as they 
find it, in the minds and bodies of their victims or, if you prefer, 
their beneficiaries. 

Among the Brave New Worlders, the control of human nature 
was achieved by eugenic and dysgenic breeding, by systematic 
conditioning during infancy and, later on, by "hypnopaedia," or 
instruction during sleep. Infant conditioning is as old as Pavlov 
and hypnopaedia, though rudimentary, is already a well-established 
technique. Phonographs with built-in clocks, which turn them on 
and ofî at regular intervais during the night, are already on the 
market and are being used by students of foreign languages, by 
actors in a hurry to memorize their parts, by parents désirons of 
curing their children of bed-wetting and other troublesome habits, 
by self-helpers seeking moral and physical improvement through 
autosuggestion and "affirmations of positive thought." That the 
principles of sélective breeding, infant conditioning and hypno- 
paedia hâve not yet been applied by governments is due, in the 
démocratie countries, to the lingering, libéral conviction that per- 
sons do not exist for the state, but that the state exists for the good 
of persons; and in the totalitarian countries to what may be called 
revolutionary conservatism — attachment to yesterday's révolution 
instead of the révolution of tomorrow. There is, however, no rea- 
son for complacently believing that this revolutionary conservatism 

239 



ALDOUS HUXLEY 

will persist indefînitely. In totalitarian hands, applied psychology 
is already achieving notable results. One third of ail the American 
prisoners captured in Korea succumbed, at least partially, to Chi- 
nese brain washing, which broke down the convictions, installed by 
their éducation and childhood conditioning, and replaced thèse 
comforting axioms by doubt, anxiety and a chronic sensé of guilt. 
This was achieved by thoroughly old-fashioned procédures, which 
combined straightforward instruction with what may be called 
conventional psychotherapy in reverse, and made no use of hypno- 
sis, hypnopaedia or mind-modifying drugs. If ail or even some of 
thèse more powerful methods had been employed, brain washing 
would probably hâve been successful with ail the prisoners, and not 
with a mère thirty per cent of them. In their vague, rhetorical way, 
speech-making politicians and sermon-preaching clergymen like to 
say that the current struggle is not material, but spiritual — an afîair 
not of machines, but of ideas. They forget to add that the eiïective- 
ness of ideas dépends very largely on the way in which they are 
inculcated. A true and beneficent idea may be so ineptly taught as 
to be without efîect on the lives of individuals and societies. Con- 
versely, grotesque and harmful notions may be so skillfuUy 
drummed into people's heads that, filled with faith, they will rush 
out and move mountains — to the greater glory of the devil and 
their own destruction. At the présent time the dynamism of totali- 
tarian ideas is greater than the dynamism of libéral, démocratie 
ideas. This is not due, of course, to the intrinsic superiority of 
totalitarian ideas. It is due partly to the fact that, in a world where 
population is fast outrunning resources, ever larger measures of 
governmental control become necessary — and it is easier to exercise 
centralized control by totalitarian than by démocratie methods. 
Partly, too, it is due to the fact that the means employed for the 
dissémination of totalitarian ideas are more effective, and are used 
more systematically, than the means employed for disseminating 
démocratie and libéral ideas. Thèse more effective methods of 
totalitarian propaganda, éducation and brain washing are, as we 
hâve seen, pretty old-fashioned. Sooner or later, however, the die- 
tators will abandon their revolutionary conservatism and, along 
with it, the old-world procédures inherited from the pre-psy- 
chological and palaeo-pharmacological past. After which, heaven 
help us ail! 

240 



BRAVE NEW WORLD REVISITED 

Among the legacies of the proto-pharmacological past must be 
numbered our habit, when we feel in need of a lift, a release from 
tension, a mental vacation from unpleasant reality, of drinking 
alcohol or, if we happen to belong to a non- Western culture, of 
smoking hashish or opium, of chewing coca leaves or bétel or any 
one of scores of intoxicants. The Brave New Worlders did none of 
thèse things; they merely swallowed a tablet or two of a substance 
called Soma. This, needless to say, was not the same as the Soma 
mentioned in the ancient Hindu scriptures — a rather dangerous 
drug derived from some as yet unidentified plant native to South 
Central Asia — but a synthetic, possessing "ail the virtues of alcohol 
and Christianity, none of their defects." In small doses the Soma 
of the Brave New Worlders was a relaxant, an inducer of euphoria, 
a fosterer of friendliness and social solidarity. In médium doses it 
transfîgured the external world and acted as a mild hallucinant; 
and in large doses it was a narcotic. Virtually ail the Brave New 
Worlders thought themselves happy. This was due in part to the 
fact that they had been bred and conditioned to take the place as- 
signed to them in the social hierarchy, in part to the sleep-teaching 
which had made them content with their lot and in part to Soma 
and their ability, by its means, to take holidays from unpleasant 
circumstances and their unpleasant selves. 

Ail the natural narcotics, stimulants, relaxants and hallucinants 
known to the modem botanist and pharmacologist were discovered 
by primitive man and hâve been in use from time immémorial. One 
of the first things that Homo sapiens did with his newly developed 
rationality and self-consciousness was to set them to work finding 
out ways to by-pass analytical thinking and to transcend or, in ex- 
trême cases, temporarily obliterate, the isolating awareness of the 
self. Trying ail things that grew in field or forest, they held fast to 
that which, in this context, seemed good — everything, that is to 
say, that would change the quality of consciousness, would make 
it différent, no matter how, from everyday feeling, perceiving and 
thinking. Among the Hindus, rhythmic breathing and mental con- 
centration hâve, to some extent, taken the place of the mind-trans- 
forming drugs used elsewhere. But even in the land of yoga, even 
among the religions and even for specifically religions purposes, 
cannabis indica has been freely used to supplément the effects of 
spiritual exercises. The habit of taking vacations from the more or 

241 



ALDOUS HUXLEY 

less purgatorial world, which we hâve created for ourselves, is uni- 
versal. Moralists may denounce it; but, in the teeth of disapproving 
talk and répressive législation, the habit persists, and mind-trans- 
forming drugs are everywhere available. The Marxian formula, 
"Religion is the opium of the people," is réversible, and one can 
say, with even more truth, that "Opium is the religion of the peo- 
ple." In other words, mind-transformation, however induced 
(whether by devotional or ascetic or psycho-gymnastic or chemi- 
cal means), has always been felt to be one of the highest, perhaps 
the very highest, of ail attainable goods. Up to the présent, gov- 
ernments hâve thought about the problem of mind-transforming 
chemicals only in terms of prohibition or, a little more realistically, 
of control and taxation. None, so far, has considered it in its rela- 
tion to individual well-being and social stability; and very few 
(thank heaven! ) hâve considered it in terms of Machiavellian state- 
craft. Because of vested interests and mental inertia, we persist in 
using alcohol as our main mind- transformer — just as our neolithic 
ancestors did. We know that alcohol is responsible for a high 
proportion of our trafîîc accidents, our crimes of violence, our do- 
mestic miseries; and y et we make no effort to replace this old-fash- 
ioned and extremely unsatisfactory drug by some new, less harm- 
ful and more enlightening mind-transformer. Among the Brave 
New Worlders, Noah's prehistoric invention of fermented liquor 
has been made obsolète by a modem synthetic, specifically designed 
to contribute to social order and the happiness of the individual, 
and to do so at the minimum physiological cost. 

In the Society described in my fable, Soma was used as an instru- 
ment of statecraft. The tyrants were benevolent, but they were 
still tyrants. Their subjects were not bludgeoned into obédience; 
they were chemically coerced to love their servitude, to co-operate 
willingly and even enthusiastically in the préservation of the social 
hierarchy. By the malignant or the ignorant, anything and every- 
thing can be used badly. Alcohol, for example, has been used, in 
small doses, to facilitate the exchange of thought in a symposium 
(literally, a drinking party) of philosophers. It has also been used, 
as the slave traders used it, to facilitate kidnaping. Scopolamine may 
be used to induce "twilight sleep"; it may also be used to increase 
suggestibility and soften up political prisoners. Heroin may be used 
to control pain; it may also be used (as it is said to hâve been used 

242 



BRAVE NEW WORLD REVISITED 

by the Japanese during their occupation of China) to produce an 
incapacitating addiction in a dangerous adversary. Directed by the 
wrong people, the coming révolution could be as disastrous, in its 
own way, as a nuclear and bacteriological war. By systematically 
using the psychological, chemical and electronic instruments al- 
ready in existence (not to mention those new and better de vices 
which the future holds in store), a tyrannical oHgarchy could keep 
the majority in permanent and willing subjection. This is the 
prophecy I made in Brave New World. I hope I may be proved 
wrong, but am sorely afraid that I may be proved right. 

Meanwhile it should be pointed out that Soma is not intrinsically 
evil. On the contrary^ a harmless but effective mind-transforming 
drug might prove a major blessing. And anyhow (as history makes 
abundantly clear) there will never be any question of getting rid 
of chemical mind-transformers altogether. The choice confronting 
us is not a choice between Soma and nothing; it is a choice between 
Soma and alcohol, Soma and opium, Soma and hashish, ololiuqui, 
peyote, datura, agaric and ail the rest of the natural mind-trans- 
formers; between Soma and such products of scientific chemistry 
and pharmacology as ether, chloral, veronal, Benzedrine and the 
barbiturates. In a word, we hâve to choose between a more or less 
harmless ail-round drug and a wide variety of more or less harm- 
ful and only partially effective drugs. And this choice will not be 
delayed until the seventh century After Ford. Pharmacology is 
on the march. The Soma of Brave New World is no longer a dis- 
tant dream. Indeed, something possessing many of the characteris- 
tics of Soma is already with us. I refer to the most récent of the 
tranquilizing agents — the Happiness Pill, as its users affectionately 
call it, known in America under the trade names of Miltown and 
Equinel. Thèse Happiness Pills exert a double action; they relax 
the tension in striped muscle and so relax the associated tensions in 
the mind. At the same time they act on the enzyme System of the 
brain in such a way as to prevent disturbances arising in the hy- 
pothalamus from interfering with the workings of the cortex. On 
the mental level, the effect is a blessed release from anxiety and self- 
regarding emotivity. 

In my fable the savage expresses his belief that the advantages of 
Soma must be paid for by losses on the highest human levels. Per- 
haps he was right. The universe is not in the habit of giving us 

243 



ALDOUS HUXLEY 

something for nothing. And yet there is a great deal to be said for a 
pill which enables us to assume an attitude towards circumstances 
of detachment, ataraxia, "holy indifférence." The moral worth of 
an action cannot be measured exclusively in terms of intention. 
Hell is paved with good intentions, and we hâve to take some ac- 
count of results. Rational and kindly behavior tends to produce 
good results, and thèse results remain good even when the behavior 
which produced them was itself produced by a pill. On the other 
hand, can we with impunity replace systematic self-discipline by a 
chemical? It remains to be seen. 

Of ail the consciousness-transf orming drugs the most interesting, 
if not the most immediately useful, are those which, like lysergic 
acid and mescalin, open the door to what may be called the Other 
World of the mind. Many workers are already exploring the effects 
of thèse drugs, and we may be sure that other mind-transformers, 
with even more remarkable properties, will be produced in the near 
future. What man will ultimately do with thèse extraordinary 
elixirs, it is impossible to say. My own guess is that they are destine d 
to play a part in human life at least as great as the part played, up 
till now, by alcohol, and incomparably more beneficent. 



244 



John Steinkcîc 



THE CASE OF ARTHUR MILLER 



John Steinbeck was one of the earliest contributors to Esquire and 
several of his most famous stories, later collected in The Long Valley, 
first appeared in Esquire: "The Lonesome Vigilante" (October 1936); 
"The Ears of Johnny Bear" (September 1937); and "A Snake of 
One's Own" (February 1938). 

When Arthur Miller's case for contempt of Congress was coming 
up for a final hearing in the spring of 1957, Esquire' s editors, seeking 
someone to comment on the case for them, tumed to Steinbeck. 
After asking his friend Miller whether such a pièce would help him or 
embarrass him, Steinbeck agreed to the assignment and wrote this 
Personal essay, almost as an editorial, which the magazine published 
in the issue of June 1957. 



THE TRIAL OF ARTHUR MILLER FOR CONTEMPT OF CONGRESS BRINGS 

close to ail of us one of the strangest and most frightening dilem- 
mas that a people and a government has ever faced. It is not the fîrst 
trial of its kind, nor will it in ail probability be the last. But Arthur 
Miller is a writer — one of our very best. What has happened to 
him could happen to any writer; could happen to me. We are face 
to face with a problem by no means easy of solution. "Is a puzzle- 
ment!" 

No man knows what he might do in a given situation, and surely 
many men must wonder how they would act if they were in 
Arthur Miller's shoes. I wonder what I would do. 

Let me suppose that I were going to trial for contempt of Con- 
gress as he is. I might be thinking somewhat as follows: 

There is no doubt that Congress has the right, under the law, to 
ask me any question it wishes and to punish my refusai to answer 
with a contempt charge. The Congress has the right to do nearly 
anything conceivable. It has only to define a situation or an action 
as a "clear and présent danger" to public safety, public morals, or 

245 



JOHN STEINBECK 

public health. The selling or eating of mince pie could be made a 
crime if Congress determined that mince pie was a danger to public 
health — which it probably is. Since many parents raise their chil- 
dren badly, mother love could be defined as a danger to the gênerai 
welfare. 

Surely, Congress has this right to ask me anything on any sub- 
ject. The question is: Should the Congress take advantage of that 
right? 

Let us say that the Congressional Committee feels that the Com- 
munist Party and many groups which hâve been linked with it — 
sometimes arbitrarily — constitute a clear and présent danger to the 
nation. Now actually it is neither virtue nor good judgment on my 
part that has kept me from joining things. I am simply not a joiner 
by nature. Outside of the Boy Scouts and the Episcopal choir, I 
hâve never had an impulse to belong to things. But suppose I had. 
And suppose I hâve admitted my association with one or more of 
thèse groups posted as dangerous. As a writer, ï must hâve been 
intereste d in everything, hâve felt it part of my profession to know 
and understand ail kinds of people and groups. Having admitted 
thèse associations, I am now asked by the Committee to name in- 
dividuals ï hâve seen at meetings of such groups. I hope my reason- 
ing then would go as follows: 

The people I knew were not and are not, in my estimation, trai- 
tors to the nation. If they were, I would turn them in instantly. If 
I give names, it is reasonably certain that the persons named will be 
called up and questioned. In some cases they will lose their jobs, and 
in any case their réputations and standing in the community will 
sufïer. And remember that thèse are persons who I honestly believe 
are innocent of any wrongdoing. Perhaps I do not feel that I hâve 
that right; that to name them would not only be disloyal but ac- 
tually immoral. The Committee then is asking me to commit an 
immoraUty in the name of public virtue. 

If I agrée, I hâve outraged one of our basic codes of conduct, and 
if I refuse I am guilty of contempt of Congress, sentenced to prison 
and fined. One way outrages my sensé of decency and the other 
brands me as a félon. And this brand does not fade out. 

Now suppose I hâve children, a little property, a stake in the 
community. The threat of the contempt charge jeopardizes every- 

246 



THE CASE OF ARTHUR MILLER 

thing I love. Suppose, from worry or cowardice, I agrée to what is 
asked. My deep and wounding shame will be with me always. 

I cannot be reassured by the past performance of the Committee. 
I hâve read daily for a number of years the testimony of admitted 
liars and perjurers whose charges hâve been used to destroy the 
peace and happiness of people I do not know, and many of whom 
were destroyed without being tried. 

Which path am I to choose? Either way I am caught. It may oc- 
cur to me that a man who is disloyal to his friends could not be 
expected to be loyal to his country. You can't slice up morals. Our 
virtues begin at home. They do not change in a courtroom unless 
the pressure of fear is put upon us. 

But if I am caught between two horrors, so is the Congress 
caught. Law, to survive, must be moral. To force personal im- 
morality on a man, to wound his private virtue, undermines his 
public virtue. If the Committee frightens me enough, it is even pos- 
sible that I may make up things to satisfy the questioners. This has 
been known to happen. A law which is immoral does not survive 
and a government which condones or fosters immorality is truly in 
clear and présent danger. 

The Congress had a perfect right to pass the Alien and Sédition 
Act. This law was repealed because of public révulsion. The Es- 
caped Slave laws had to be removed because the people of free states 
found them immoral. The Prohibition laws were so generally 
flouted that ail law suiïered as a conséquence. 

We hâve seen and been revolted by the Soviet Union's encour- 
agement of spying and telling, children reporting their parents, 
wives informing on their husbands. In Flitler's Germany, it was 
considered patriotic to report your friends and relations to the au- 
thorities. And we in America hâve felt safe from and superior to 
thèse things. But are we so safe or superior? 

The men in Congress must be conscious of their terrible choice. 
Their légal right is clearly established, but should they not think of 
their moral responsibility also? In their attempts to save the nation 
from attack, they could well undermine the deep personal morality 
which is the nation's final défense. The Congress is truly on trial 
along with Arthur Miller. 

Again let me change places with Arthur Miller. I hâve refused to 

247 



JOHN STEINBECK 

name people. I am indicted, convicted, sent to prison. If the charge 
were murder or theft or extortion I would be subject to punish- 
ment, because I and ail men know that thèse things are wrong. But 
if I am imprisoned for something I hâve been taught from birth is 
a good thing, then I go to jail with a deep sensé of injustice and the 
rings of that injustice are bound to spread out Hke an infection. If 
I am brave enough to sufïer for my principle, rather than to save 
myself by hurting other people I believe to be innocent, it seems to 
me that the law sufïers more than I, and that contempt of the law 
and of the Congress is a real contempt rather than a legalistic one. 

Under the law, Arthur Miller is guilty. But he seems also to be 
brave. Congress feels that it must press the charge against him, to 
keep its prérogative alive. But can we not hope that our représenta- 
tives will inspect their dilemma? Respect for law can be kept high 
only if the law is respectable. There is a clear and présent danger 
hère, not to Arthur Miller, but to our changing and evolving way 
of life. 

If I were in Arthur Miller's shoes, I do not know what I would 
do, but I could wish, for myself and for my children, that I would 
be brave enough to fortify and défend my private morality as he 
has. I feel profoundly that our country is better served by individ- 
ual courage and morals than by the safe and public patriotism 
which Dr. Johnson called "the last refuge of scoundrels." 

My father was a great man, as any lucky man's father must be. 
He taught me rules I do not think are abrogated by our nervous 
and hysterical times. Thèse laws hâve not been annulled; thèse rules 
of attitudes. He taught me — glory to God, honor to my family, 
loyalty to my friends, respect for the law, love of country and 
instant and open revolt against tyranny, whether it come from the 
bully in the schoolyard, the foreign dictator, or the local déma- 
gogue. 

And if this be treason, gentlemen, make the most of it. 



248 



Richard H. Rovcrc 



THE QUESTION OF EZRA POUND 



In the spring of 1957, one of Esquire^s editors cast about for some- 
one to do a pièce on "the question" of Ezra Pound and the rights and 
wrongs of his incarcération in St. Elizabeth's Hospital, near Washing- 
ton. He decided on Richard Rovere, author of a regular "Letter 
from Washington" for The New Yorker, of varions articles for 
Harper^s and the Atlantic, and of the book The Eisenhoiver Years 
(1956). 

Rovere's article appeared in Esquire for September 1957 and evoked 
such a response that a spécial Aftermath section of the Sound and 
Fury letters to the editor department was established to group the 
letters separately. In December 1957, January 1958, and February 
1958, letters were published from John Dos Passos, Van Wyck Brooks, 
Marianne Moore, Osbert Sitwell, Joseph Frank, Howard Nemerov, 
Richard Wilbur, Wallace Fowlie, Mark Schorer, Warren Bower, 
Norman Mailer, Kenneth Rexroth, Robert Graves, Patrick Murphy 
Malin, Babette Deutsch, J. V. Cunningham, Andrew Lytle, William 
Carlos Williams, Robert L. Allen, Richard Chase, T. D. Horton, and 
Selden Rodman. 

In the spring of 1958 Pound was released from St. Elizabeth's. 
Richard Rovere's article was of great use in the préparation of the 
case for his release. 



IT AVOULD BE HARD TO NAME A LIVING MAN WHO EMBODIES MORE 

polarities of mind, tempérament, and function than Ezra Pound, 
the poet, scholar, and sometime reformer who bas spent the last 
twelve of his seventy-two years confîned, as certifiably insane, in 
St. EHzabeth's Hospital, the huge asylum maintained by the fédéral 
government on a rise of land in the southeast corner of Wash- 
ington. 

This inmate is one of the great champions and liberators of the 
modem spirit; he is aiso a crackpot poisoner of the well of opinion 
— a political crank who has proceeded from funny-money théories 

249 



RICHARD H. ROVERE 

to a full-blown chauvinism. This xénophobe Pound is one of the 
truly cosmopolitan figures of the century — as the pre-eminent trans- 
lator of his time, he has been an heroic builder of bridges to other 
civihzations; there is, however, a chamber of his poet's soûl in which 
a yahoo dwells — a buckwheat oaf sounding off hke a Kleagle of 
the Klavern or a New York street-brawler back in the days of the 
Christian Front. This cosmopoHtan Pound is a true patriot — he has 
a love for the United States that is genuine and affecting and that 
has had a great deal to do with the making of American culture 
over the last fifty years; yet he has been, since November 26, 1945, 
under indictment for nineteen separate counts of treason — the 
charge growing out of the uncontested fact that he made propa- 
ganda broadcasts for the fascist enemy from the enemy's camp in 
wartime. 

In Ezra Pound's extraordinary person, the antipodal qualities 
clang and clatter, the déniai crowds the affirmation, antithesis is 
always on the heels of thesis. Throughout his life, he has esteemed 
the Confucian idéal of order, and much of his work reflects it; yet 
his life and his work, taken as a whole, are sheer chaos — though 
sometimes a glorious chaos, as in what William Butler Yeats called 
the "stammering confusion" of the Cantos, the most imposing of 
ail his work. This great man has stood at once for love and for hâte, 
for friendship and for misanthropy, for reason and for befuddle- 
ment, for unexampled purity and for pure muck, for luminous 
spirits like Yeats and Robert Frost and for deranged ones like Benito 
Mussolini and for fanatics like John Kasper, the muddled youth 
who recently was denied appeal of a one-year sentence for con- 
tempt of court committed in the aftermath of his efforts, under- 
taken a year or so ago — largely, he says, at Ezra Pound's encourage- 
ment — to stir the lily-white animais to riot and bloodshed in dé- 
fense of ségrégation in the South. 

In the world as Pound, in his better moments, wants it, first 
things would be first, and the first thing about him is that he is a 
great poet. It is by no means certain, though, that he or we can hâve 
it that way. The object of public interest today, of syndicated 
newspaper articles and comment in the mass-circulation magazines, 
is Pound the crazy writer who appears in relationship to the White 
Citizens Councils and the gênerai revival of Kluxery to be some- 

250 



THE QUESTION OF EZRA POUND 

what as Lenin was to the Bolsheviks before 191 7. The comparison 
is, of course, absurd, and probably the connection between Pound 
and Kasper is not everything that young Mr. Kasper, hungering 
for a god and perhaps for a father, claims it to be. The White Citi- 
zens Councils should not be hung around Pound's neck simply on 
John Kasper's say-so. The records of St. EHzabeth's Hospital reveal 
no more than a half-dozen visits by Kasper to Pound, and though 
there may hâve been more, no number of visits would constitute 
acceptable évidence of Pound's direct responsibihty. The shrine is 
not to be blamed for everything the pilgrim does and is. There is 
bigotry in Ezra Pound, and that is bad enough, but in justice it has 
to be acknowledged that he has never been known to address him- 
self to the question of pubUc-school intégration. Still, the world 
does hâve a way, sometimes, of putting last, or secondary, things 
first, and to the world at the moment Pound is the inmate, the 
mental patient, the crazy writer v^ho once committed treason or 
something and who now appears to be tied up with Kasper, the 
race agitator. 

The world's way is to be noted but not in ail cases, and certainly 
not in such cases as this, followed. The main thing about Ezra 
Pound is that he is a poet of towering gifts and attainments. Poetry 
is not a horse race or any other sort of compétition, and it is silly 
to argue over which poet runs the fastest, jumps the highest, or 
dives the deepest, Still, a respectable case could be made out to the 
efîect that the century has produced no talent larger or more 
fecund than Pound's. Certainly the fît comparisons would be with 
no more than half a dozen other men who write in English. Thèse, 
as the literary Establishment sees the matter today, would be 
T. S. Eliot, Yeats, Frost (some dissent hère, probably), W. H. Au- 
den, and Dylan Thomas; later on, some of thèse names may be re- 
moved and replaced by some from the second rank, such as Wal- 
lace Stevens, Robert Graves, Walter de la Mare, Marianne Moore, 
William Carlos WilKams, E. E. Cummings, and Robert Lowell. 

Pound's position is secure, not only because of the power of his 
own work but because of his service as a midwife to genius and as 
an influence on other poets. Not long ago, the government which 
detains Pound in St. Elizabeth's circulated abroad, as part of its 
effort to persuade the world that we Americans really care about 

251 



RICHARD H. ROVERE 

the fîner things, a flossy periodical in which it was asserted that 
Ezra Pound "has donc more to serve the cause of English poetry 
than anyone else alive." (The article, by Hayden Carruth, a gifted 
critic, also said, 'It is hard to think of a good reason why Pound 
should not hâve his freedom immediately.") The statement on his 
service is broad but difîîcult to gainsay. Of the poets of comparable 
stature, at least half hâve at one time or another been Pound's disci- 
ples; others were greatly aided by him. The best known and most 
influential poem of our time, Eliot's The Waste Land, took the 
shape in which the world knows it under his expert hand. Eliot 
submitted it to Pound at many stages, and in its penultimate stage 
it was, according to Eliot, "a sprawling, chaotic poem . . . which 
left Pound's hands, reduced to about half its size, in the form in 
which it appears in print." The dedication of The Waste Land 
reads, "For Ezra Pound — il miglior fabbro.^^ Pound deeply influ- 
enced Yeats in the later phases of Yeats' career. But for Pound, the 
récognition of Robert Frost would hâve come more belatedly than 
it did. It was Pound who first got Frost published in the United 
States and Pound also who found a London publisher for James 
Joyce. Amy Lowell, E. E. Cummings, and William Carlos Wil- 
liams sat, often in extrême discomfort, at his feet. W. H. Auden is 
of a later génération, but he has asserted that "there are few living 
poets . . . who could say, *My work would be exactly the same 
if Mr. Pound had never lived.' " 

And ail of this influencing and literary politicking in addition to 
his own work: it is now just short of fîfty years since the publica- 
tion of his first book, A Lume Spento, and the flame is still bright 
and hot. He began with a rage to "purify the language of the tribe" 
and to make that purified language part of the stuff of life itself. 
Poetry was to be existence, not about existence. "Poetry is . . . as 
much 'criticism of life' as red-hot iron is a criticism of fire." The 
âge, he said, in one of his most famous poems: 

. . . demanded an image 
Of its accelerated gmnace, 
Something for the modem stage, 
Not, at any rate, an Attic grâce; 
Not, not certainly, the obscure rêveries 
Of the inward gaze; 

252 



THE QUESTION OF EZRA POUND 

Better mendacities 

Than the classics in paraphrase! 

• • • 

A prose kînema, not, not assuredly, alabaster 
Or the '''sculpture'''' of rhyme. 

He provided for the âge what he thought it demanded — volume 
upon volume of poetry, some of incomparable loveliness, some of 
unexcelled ugliness, and much besides. And he still does. In thèse 
last few melancholy years, many magical and magnifîcent things 
hâve gone out to the world from his bedlam in Washington. He 
has presse d forward with his Cantos, with his criticism, and with 
his indefatigable labors of translation, the latest fruit of which is 
a stunning version of Sophocles' Trachtmae. If the New York 
Herald Tribune now sees his wretched quarters in Anacostia as the 
place where young men like John Kasper are corrupted, others may 
some day compare them with the ceUs in which Cervantes wrote 
Don Quixote or Bunyan Fil grimas Progress, 

But Pound is alive and controversial in our world and much too 
thorny a subject to be dealt with only in terms of his major work. 
His madness, if it exists, will not be exorcised by his verses — any 
more than his verses can be hidden under his madness. Poetry, one 
can begin by saying, is, among other things, an act of the con- 
trolled intelligence. This is particularly true in the case of Pound, 
who has never failed to demand of himself and of his work cool, 
hard, purposeful thought, and who has, additionally, an analytical 
mind of immense power. However, a controlled and discriminating 
intelHgence is not a sure défense against insanity. Both madness and 
genius can be spasmodic or simultaneous in a compartmented being 
like Pound. 

The question of whether Pound is insane by any acceptable légal 
or psychiatrie définition is a vexed one. Reputable authorities dis- 
agree. Four psychiatrists, one of them appointed by Pound's coun- 
sel, filed a unanimous report which led to his commitment to 
St. Elizabeth's, sparing the défendant and the country the pain of 
a trial for a capital offense. But some doctors hâve maintained 
that Pound is quite a long way from being insane by the standards 
that court examiners are compelled to use and that justice was 
jobbed when Pound went to the hospital rather than to the gallows. 

253 



RICHARD H. ROVERE 

From the layman's point of view, the matter is a good deal simpler. 
Whether Pound meets the légal and institutional tests for a crimi- 
nally inculpable and confînable psychotic — and it seems highly 
doubtful that he does — he is a pathological personality who bas, by 
the reasonable standards of most reasonable men, lost contact with 
reality at many crucial points. In the vernacular, he is off his rocker 
— or if he isn't, the rest of us are off ours. The paranoid's delusions, 
his morbid suspicions, his view of life as a conspiracy are ail ap- 
parent, even in the fine poetry, which more and more over the last 
twenty-five years bas dealt with Pound's political and économie 
obsessions. In Pound, those suspicions and delusions are évidence of 
mania. For a village eccentric to assert that Franklin Roosevelt was 
a tool of international Jewry, that we got into the Second World 
War because of a crooked financial deal puUed off by Roosevelt 
and Henry Morgenthau, that ail world history would be changed 
if Martin Van Buren's autobiography had been pubHshed a few 
years sooner than it was — ail this would not be conclusive proof of 
insanity. Such belle f s may merely show misguidance. But it is quite 
another thing for a man of Pound's cultivation to believe them and 
to make them the stuff of his poetry. 

Since the onset of the great Dépression, Pound has been making 
silk purses from sows' ears. His major thème — as distinct from the 
secondary and supporting thèmes involving Roosevelt and Morgen- 
thau and Van Buren — has been that mankind's troubles, ail of them, 
are traceable to the hiring out of money at interest ("the beast with 
a hundred legs, USURA") by commercial lenders ("every bank of 
discount is downright corruption/every bank of discount is down- 
right iniquity") and that life on earth would be sweet and noble 
and aestheticaUy rich if we had the wisdom to adopt the fiscal re- 
forms advocated by Silvio Gesell, Major C. H. Douglas, and other 
hopeful currency tinkerers. Thèse are his political convictions as 
well as the méat of his poetry, and since when, asks Dr. Frédéric 
Wertham, one of the dissenting psychiatrists, has a political convic- 
tion, however aberrant, been regarded as proof of paranoïa? The 
answer the layman can give, without attempting to satisfy either 
psychiatry or law, is that a political conviction is lunatic when it 
leads a man to tell a friend, as Pound once told William Carlos 
Williams, that at a given moment he preferred the sanctuary of 
St. Elizabeth's to the world beyond its Nichols Avenue gâtes, where 

254 



THE QUESTION OF EZRA POUND 

he believed he would be shot by agents of the "international crew/' 
The obsessions make him see the surface of Hfe in a world that 
endures usury as "infinité pus ilakes, scabs of a lasting pox," and 
the flux of life in this motion: 

as the earth moves, the centre 

passes over ail parts in succession 
a continuai bum-belch 

distributing its production 

Still, the purses are silk beyond ail cavil or dispute: 

The anfs a centaur in his dragon njoorld. 

Pull down thy vanity, it is not man 

Made courage or made order, or viade grâce 

Pidl doivn thy vanity, I say pull douon. 
Learn of the green ivorld ivhat can be thy place 
In scaled invention or true artistry 
Pull dovon thy vanity, 

Paquin pidl doimi! 
The green casque has outdone your élégance. 

It is characteristic of the great egotists to hâve little trafîic with 
their own years of innocence and learning. When they deal with 
the period at ail, they are likely to follow the example of Rousseau 
and foreshorten and revise expérience in such a way as to make 
worldliness follow directly upon infancy. Pound is of the classic 
breed — though not, as it happens, in any other way a brother to 
Rousseau. One cannot accuse him of selfishness or of excessive self- 
portraiture; his ego has asserted itself massively, in cocksureness, in 
literary and political arrogance, in conceits of dress such as red 
velvet robes and conceits of leadership such as walking one pace 
ahead of his followers in every procession, and, in thèse later years, 
in his paranoid delusions about the malign sources of the world's 
résistance to his remédies. This kind of self-concern has led him to 
consider himself and his life at great length, to record his own 
comings and goings, to préserve the least of his obiter dicta, and to 
reflect in hundreds of thousands of words on the meaning of his 
own strange joumey. 

Yet the shaping years are nowhere dealt with. In every auto- 
biographical statement, the infant born in Hailey, Idaho, in 1885, 



RICHARD H. ROVERE 

the son of Homer and Isabel Weston Pound, becomes in a sentence 
or two a central figure in American letters. Idaho could hâve in- 
fluence d him not at ail, for in 1887 the family moved to Wyncotte, 
Pennsylvania, and Pound's father took up his duties as assayer of 
the United States Mint at Philadelphia. It is clear from a handful 
of letters to his parents, published a few years ago in his collected 
correspondence, that they were bookish, serious-minded people. 
His mother, who was somehow related to Henry Wadsworth 
Longfellow, was a musician of sorts, and his father had a lively and 
informed interest in contemporary literature. Does the fact that 
Pound's father had a professional concern with the value of cur- 
rency explain Pound's obsession to any degree? This has been ru- 
mored, but Pound himself has cast no light upon it. Ail that is really 
known of him in the early years is that he survive d. 

He w^as a gifted child and entered the University of Pennsylvania 
at fifteen. From this point on, he is not réticent in dealing with ex- 
périence, but neither, one suspects, is he particularly reliable. He 
paints himself as an enormously learned young man, which he no 
doubt was, and as an enormously sophisticated one, which he evi- 
dently was not. He did not enroll as a regular undergraduate at 
Pennsylvania. He wanted no truck with most of what they had to 
teach, so he was a "spécial student," working mostly in languages. 
He claims to hâve had contempt for most of his teachers and for 
most of his fellow students. Yet there are contemporaries who re- 
member him as a boy, gangling and shy and humiliated by his life 
under a carpet of bright red hair, who was terribly eager for ac- 
ceptance and who, indeed, was so eager to be pledged to a fraternity 
that, when he was finally rebuffed, he transferred to Hamilton 
Collège. The story may be untrue; it ail happened in another world 
anyway, and memories are not ail they might be. But the quality of 
memories counts. William Carlos Williams, a médical student at 
Pennsylvania at the time, has the recollection that when Pound 
thought the moment had at last arrived to try his luck at picking up 
a girl, he implored Williams to come along for protection. 

At ail odds, Pound did transfer to Hamilton, where he took pre- 
scribed courses and in 1905 was awarded a degree. After Hamilton, 
he went back to Pennsylvania and got a master's degree. (It is curi- 
ons that in a one-page autobiography prepared for his Selected 
Poems in 1949, Pound, while skipping over some of the principal 

256 



THE QUESTION OF EZRA POUND 

épisodes in his life, should hâve listed three académie degrees, two 
earned, from Hamilton and Pennsylvania, and an honorary Litt. D. 
from Hamilton in 1939. Before 1939, he had been writing of Amer- 
ican universities as nothing but fancy beaneries. In April, 1929, he 
advised the Alumni Secretary of the University of Pennsylvania 
that "Ail the U. of P. or your god damn collège or any other god 
damn American collège does or will do for a man of letters is to ask 
him to go away without breaking the silence." It was a différent 
story when Hamilton asked the man of letters to accept its récog- 
nition. Among his many dualities are a contempt for authority and 
an almost sickening respect for it. When he lived in Italy, he had 
embossed on his stationery a gamy platitude from Mussolini — 
"Liberty is not a right but a duty.") In those student years, he 
wrote some of the poems that were to appear in his fîrst book in 
1908. It would be interesting, at least from the viewpoint of the 
gossip that lurks in each of us, to know how close he was to the 
trembhng adolescent recalled by Williams and how far from this, 
which is from the period: 

For I was a gaiint, grave coimcillor 
Bemg m ail things njoise, and very old, 
But I hâve put aside this folly and the cold 
That old âge weareth for a cloak. 

I tuas quite strong — at least they said so — 
The young men at the sivord-play . . . . 

Pound had tried out for the fencing team at Pennsylvania. 

Poems are born of hopes and imaginings, and so long as Pound 
had thèse within him, as he did in wild abundance, it should matter 
little to anyone — save those in a position to ofïer therapy — what 
else he was in that faraway time. After Philadelphia, he traveled 
abroad for a year, in Italy, Spain, and Provence, and then accepted 
an instructorship at Wabash Collège, in Indiana. Within a few 
months of his appointment, he was asked to resign, which he did. 
His story is that he had invited to his lodgings a penniless girl, 
stranded from a burlesque show, whom he had found on the streets 
of town while going out in a raging blizzard to mail a letter. He 
claimed that he had been stirred by nothing more than an impulse 
to hospitality, and in the centennial history of the collège, the au- 

257 



RICHARD H. ROVERE 

thorities, eager to reclaim a genius, explained that the girl slept 
chastely in Pound's bed and Pound on the floor. It sounds plausible, 
but it scarcely matters. Pound's landlady discovered her. The col- 
lège providentially booted him, and he returned to Europe, there 
to remain, except when he returned for his honorary Litt. D., until 
he was flown to Washington as a prisoner under armed guard on 
November i8, 1945. 

"London, deah old Lundon, is the place for poesy" — thus Pound, 
to a stay-at-home friend on February 3, 1909. London was the place 
for Pound — or at any rate, a place. It is difficult to believe that his 
awesome énergies were greatly dépendent on environment. At ail 
odds, he pursued poesy; he gave it chase like a Nimrod being shot 
at from the rear. It is doubtful if any other American writer ever 
knew a period as fertile as the décade that followed Pound's move 
to London. He produced his finest half-dozen volumes of poetry, 
quite enough to sustain his réputation. ("Thirty pages are enough 
for any of us to leave," he once wrote. "There is scarce more of 
CatuUus or Villon." There are perhaps a thousand pages of Pound's 
own poetry, with more coming ail the time.) He translated: from 
médiéval French, from Latin, from Greek, and from Chinese and 
Japanese, which he could not read but which he nevertheless ren- 
dered from the literal translations of Ernest Francisco Fenollosa, 
an American Orientahst who had taught philosophy at the Impérial 
Normal School in Tokyo and who made Pound his executor. He 
was the European editor of Poetry, the Chicago magazine which 
Harriet Monroe, a noble dilettante lady, ofïered this philistine re- 
public as "a place of refuge, a green isle in the sea, where Beauty 
may plant her gardens." He dug up Frost and Eliot for the maga- 
zine; he pestered established British writers for manuscripts. He 
got Wyndham Lewis, John Masefield, Ford Madox Ford, Rabin- 
dranath Tagore. He and Amy Lowell put their heads together, a 
consummation blessed by T. E. Hulme, a British philosopher with 
poetic leanings, and produced Imagism, a school. The doctrine was 
that poetic images should not be adornments but the guts of the 
work itself. The language, in Hulme's words, was to be "cheerful, 
dry and sophisticated," or, in Pound's single word, "perfect." "It 
stands," he said, amplifying, "for hard, clear edges." And the best 
of it did hâve hard, clear edges; sometimes, though, the quest for 
perfection was destructive; the individual poem was lightened and 

258 



THE QUESTION OF EZRA POUND 

hardened to the point where it was fleshless and boneless. Once 
Pound had the thought of describing some faces he had looked 
upon in the Paris Métro. He wrote a poem of thirty Unes. It seemed 
rather fatty to him, so he put it aside, while he awaited further hght 
on the problem. After a time, he went over it and eut it to fîfteen 
lines. Still imperfect. He put it away again for a year or so, and 
then did some drastic surgery, so that the poem, called In a Station 
of the Métro, now reads, in its entirety: 

The apparition of thèse faces in the crowd: 
Fêtais on a ivet, black bough. 

There were such miscarriages. But more often there was success. 
Pound soon abandoned the school in favor of one he called Vor- 
ticism, which he proclaimed as vastly superior. He was alone in 
grasping the distinction; if there was one, it did not show in his 
work, in which he continued to make breathtaking approaches to 
perfection. 

"Dear Miss Lowell," Pound wrote in November, 191 3, "I agrée 
with you . . . that 'Harriet' is a bloody fool. Also Fve resigned 
from Poetry in Huefïer's (Ford Madox Ford's) favor, but I be- 
heve he has resigned in mine. . . ." It was this sort of thing down 
through the years. Imagism to Vorticism and on along to Social 
Crédit and Gesellism, thence to fascism. And from Poetry to 
BLAST, the officiai Vorticist organ, which had no bang at ail and 
petered out in two issues, and back to Poetry and on to The Egoist 
and The Little Revieiv. In between and amongst thèse, there were 
side enthusiasms — the music of George Antheil and Arnold Dol- 
metsch, the sculpture of Henri Gaudier-Brzeska. Pound learned to 
play the bassoon and for a time fancied himself a composer. He was 
everlastingly transient. It was not for long that London was good 
for poesy. By 191 3, England was "this stupid little island . . . dead 
as mutton." After the war, he moved to Paris — accompanied by the 
wife he had acquired in London, Dorothy Shakespear, who lives 
today in the wastes of southeast Washington and never misses a 
visiting period at St. Elizabeth's. And a few years after that to 
Rapallo, on the Italian Riviera. 

"One has to keep going East," he told Mary Colum, "to keep 
one's mind alive." Any direction would hâve done, for it was really 
a matter of the restlessness of the literary plotter and organizer of 

259 



RICHARD H. ROVERE 

movements. As Robert Graves saw it, "Slowly the frustrated 
Pound went mad-dog and bit the other dogs of his day; he even 
fastened his teeth in Yeats' hand, the hand that had fed him." This 
is too dour a picture of it. Pound was not, at bottom, disloyal. In- 
deed, even in his présent madness, he remains fast to many of his 
oldest friends and his oldest principles. The cream of the ugly jest 
is that he remains intensely loyal to some of the principles he has 
been accused of betraying and, in fact, in his fashion did betray. 
When he insists, as he always does nowadays, that everything he did 
and was in politics had as its object the "saving of the United States 
Constitution," he is representing himself as honestly as he can. Even 
in the zaniest of the Cantos, in the crazy, ranting passages about 
Adams and Jeiïerson and poor old Van Buren, one has a sensé of 
him as a genuine American reformer, a zealous improver, the per- 
pétuai libéral optimist of American letters carrying on in the spirit 
of 191 2. "Any agonizing," he wrote in that year, "that tends to 
hurry what I believe in the end to be inévitable, our American 
Risorgimento, is dear to me. That awakening will make the Italian 
Renaissance look like a tempest in a teapot." 

If there is any one unbroken strand in Pound's expérience, it is 
the one that begins with this statement and continues on to what is 
durable in his work today. Of ail the contrarieties and polarities in 
Pound, none is more striking than that of the enemy broadcaster, 
the partisan of Mussolini, as American patriot. The courts may 
ne ver be able to see this; it is perhaps proper that they should not. 
To be betrayed by a daft patriot is not much better than to be be- 
trayed by a sanely calculating Iscariot. Nevertheless, the fact can- 
not be denied that Pound, as a writer and as a man, has had an im- 
mense and touching faith in the culture he appeared to be ready to 
abandon as a youth. He believed with Whitman that American 
expérience was fit and even glorious material for poetry, and what 
he was at war with when he left this country was the spirit that 
denied this and tried only for "Attic grâce" and the ^'classics in 
paraphrase." "Make it new," Pound kept saying, from his colloquial 
rendering of Confucius, and "Make it American," as if he were a 
booster of home manufacturers at a trade fair. "Are you for Ameri- 
can poetry or for poetry," he wrote Miss Monroe, when she was 
setting up her magazine. "The latter is more important, but it is 
important that America should boost (sic!) the former, provided it 

260 



THE QUESTION OF EZRA POUND 

don't (sic/) mean a blindness to the art. The glory of any nation is 
to produce art that can be exported without disgrâce to its origin. 
. . . The force we hâve, and the impulse, but the guiding sensé, the 
discrimination in applying the force, we must wait and strive for." 
He beheved, and was to persuade many others to believe, that the 
American language as well as the American expérience was fit for 
poetry: the speech of our people, the garment of their conscious- 
ness, was vigorous and supple and tender enough "to be spoken by 
the gods." 

And this has been the point of his curions and often debated work 
as a translator: he has ma de everything new and everything Amer- 
ican. Edwin Arhngton Robinson, the last poet to work eiîectively in 
the tradition Pound rejected and sought to crush, once wrote of 
how Shakespeare 

. . . out of his 

Miraculous inviolable increase 

Fills Ilion, Rome, or aiïy toivn y ou like 

Of olden time ivith timeless Englishmen. 

Shakespeare sent his imagination traveling in time and space and 
was never anything but English to the core. Pound expatriated 
himself for four décades in Europe and went back over the years to 
Cathay millennia before Christ — and was never, in any time or 
place, other than American to the marrow and gristle. He fiUed 
Rome and Crète and the France of the troubadors and China and 
Japan with timeless Americans. This is no défense against treason. 
Yet it is a fact. In his version of Trachiniae, or Women of Trachis, 
a product of his labors at St. Elizabeth's, he has Hyllos say of 
Herakles 

They say he^s in Euhoea, 

besieging Eurytusville 
or on the way to it. 

Eurytusville, indeed! It is as if Shakespeare had written The Mer- 
chant of Veniceshire or Timon of Athensford. 

One must return, sooner or later, to the déniai that always fol- 
lows hard on the affirmation. It could, of course, be no more than a 
cheap trick to call Eurytus Eurytusville, whereas it was, for an 
American, a foui one to broadcast, as Ezra Pound did, on May 26, 

261 



RICHARD H. ROVERE 

1942, when our forces were beleaguered in almost every quarter of 
the globe, that every rare and occasional decency of the United 
States government, "every reform . . . is an act of homage toward 
Mussolini and Hitler. They are your leaders ..." Unless our 
monitors had faulty hearing, that is what the man said. In the nine- 
teen presumably treasonable utterances cited in the indictment, 
that is the one that, on the face of it, is the clearest and most shame- 
ful. More often, the broadcasts were a loony garble — so much so 
that the Italians for a time thought he was broadcasting secrets in 
code. But there it stands — "Mussolini and Hitler. They are your 
leaders." 

It is possible to take the psychiatrists' way out and say that by 
then Pound was a nut not to be held responsible. But the matter 
will not rest there. Some sort of accommodation must be reached 
between Pound-the-glorious-American-poet and Pound-the-loony- 
ideologue. Varions possibilities suggest themselves. It has often 
been argued that there is an affinity between American populism 
and brutal American reaction. But this will not do for Pound the 
sweet singer; except for his hatred of bankers and his funny money, 
he was never fetched by the Populist fallacies. Quite the contrary. 
"It is the function of the public to prevent the artistes expression, 
by hook or by crook," he wrote, a few years after his embarkation 
in England. And: "I know the man who translated Jean Christophe, 
and moreover it's a popular craze, so I suppose there must be some- 
thing wrong with it." And: "I should like the name 'Imagism' to 
retain some sort of meaning. ... I cannot trust any democratized 
committee to maintain that standard." He was armored against un- 
due respect for the mass of mankind. 

A more promising hypothesis is that he was beguiled — eventually 
into insanity — by a prédilection for conspiracy théories of life and 
history. The man thus beguiled sees society as a kind of machine in 
which things are always going wrong. This machine is hurting him. 
He himself is not part of it. He feels he has no control over its 
workings, and therefore no responsibility for it. He sees a human 
comedy and a human tragedy, and he may be deeply moved by 
the spectacles, but they are spectacles — things to be seen, from 
somewhere oiïstage. Eventually, if he is clever, he discerns ways 
of improving the spectacles, removing their fiaws. The spectacles 
resist improvement; the stupid players strike back. ("l've got a 

262 



THE QUESTION OF EZRA POUND 

right to be severe," the young Pound wrote. *Tor one man I strike, 
there are ten to strike back at me. I stand exposed.") Going to work 
on the problem, the intellectual hunts out a gênerai principle — a 
theory of society's malfunctioning. Young men who pursued this 
line of thought thirty years after Pound clutched, for obvious 
enough historié reasons, at the proposition that the f ault lay in the 
fact that the means of production and distribution were in private 
hands, when in fact, for virtue's sake, they should be in public 
hands, as in the Soviet Union. Some of them, delighted to hâve got 
at the root of the problem, betrayed their héritage as foolishly and 
in many cases far more efïectively than Pound did. And some, too, 
were driven out of their minds. 

It was no doubt always in the cards that Pound would reach for 
the purely mechanical device — currency reform — for righting so- 
cial wrongs. Loving America, as in truth plenty of the young 
Communists did, he saw "society" as something else altogether — 
something hateful and machinelike. There were not many social 
vogues in his day. Marxism was little heard of in the circles in which 
he moved. Somehow he was reached by the Social Crédit people, 
who promised order in society. Then he came upon Silvio Gesell, 
an erratic German who had observed that interest rates bore no 
logical relation to économie expansion. Usurers set rates according 
to what the trafîic would bear. Who were the usurers? The prin- 
cipal ones, obviously, were the great international bankers. From 
this point, Pound made the classic leap to anti-Semitism. Somewhat 
earlier, he had made the leap to the corporate state in Italy. Pound 
clearly liked the grandiosity of it — and he liked the most comical 
of Mussolini's thrashings about in the name of "order," or meaning- 
ful timetables; it appeared a genuine eiîort to take the frustrations 
out of life, to organize society according to a principle, as Pound 
was trying to organize poetry according to a principle. 

We can never know when the cord at last snapped. Nothing we 
can fînd in Pound's poetry or his life prépares us for the excessive- 
ness or the sheer franticness of his social concerns. An infatuation 
with Mussolini would be understandable; Pound was given to in- 
fatuations. But the mind boggies when this great critical spirit is 
heard claiming for Mussolini the perfection he never found in 
others and so seldom found even in himself. "The more one ex- 
amines the Milan speech," he wrote apropos of a run-of-the-mine 

263 



RICHARD H. ROVERE 

bit of rhetoric by Mussolini, "the more one is reminded of Brancusi, 
the stone blocks from which no error émerges, from whatever 
angle one looks at them." A quotation from Jefferson and/ or Mus- 
solijîi, published in 1935. 

By then the cord was certainly badly frayed. 

In his years in St. Elizabeth's, Pound bas steadily maintained that 
he had no wish to oppose this country during the war. He points 
out, in lucid moments, that he could bave saved himself ail his 
misery by the simple device of accepting Italian citizenship in 1939. 
He clung to his American passport. It is a matter of record that he 
tried in 1942 to get aboard the last diplomatie train that took Amer- 
icans from Rome to Lisbon. He was refused permission to board it. 
He had no choice but to stay in Rapallo. After a while the Italians 
asked him to broadcast. He accepted. He bas said that "no scripts 
were prepared for me by anybody, and I spoke only when I wanted 
to." And he goes on, not at ail lucidly, "I was only trying to tell 
the people of Europe and America how they could avoid war by 
learning the facts about money." The war was itself then an un- 
avoidable fact, and it was not about money — though it does happen 
to be true that most of Pound's broadcasts did deal with his cur- 
rency obsessions. It also happens to be true that he lent himself, on 
whatever terms, to the enemy. He now forgets the terms: "Fd die 
for an idea ail right, but to die for an idea IVe forgotten is too 
much." 

He lived out the war in Rapallo, writing and making his occa- 
sional broadcasts, and in November 1945, hearing that units of the 
American occupation forces were looking for him, he delivered 
himself to the proper military authorities. They placed him under 
arrest and kept him in an encampment — or Disciplinary Training 
Center — near Pisa. Someone in the Army goofed; the word went 
out that Pound was violent and also that the fascists thought so 
highly of him that armed bands might seek to free him. A spécial 
cage was built for him out of the heavy mesh steel used for tem- 
porary runways. "They thought I was a dangerous wild man and 
were scared of me. I had a guard night and day. . . . Soldiers used 
to come up to the cage and look at me. Some of them brought me 
food. Old Ez was a prize exhibit." For months he lived caged, 
sleeping on the ground, shielded from the sun and rain only by 

264 



THE QUESTION OF EZRA POUND 

some tar paper a kindly G.I. found for him. In the cage, he wrote 
furiously, madly, poignantly. The fruit of the imprisonment was 
The Fis an Cantos, for which a distinguished group of American 
scholars, appointed by the Librarian of Congress, voted him the 
Bollingen-Library of Congress Award of one thousand dollars for 
"the highest achievement of American poetry" in the year they 
were published, 1948. (The howls that went up after this put an 
end to. the committee and the award.) By 1948, he had transferred 
his résidence to St. Elizabeth's, had suffered out eighteen months in 
a "maximum-security" ward, and was enjoying the limited freedom 
he now has — freedom to roam the asylum grounds as long as he 
stays in sight of the building in which he lives and freedom to chat 
with such as Kasper and freedom to write 

The States hâve passed thru a 

dam^d supercilious era 
Down, Derry-down 

Oh, let an old-man rest, 

He will very likely die there. There has been a clamor of sorts for 
his release over the last few years, but nothing ever cornes of it. The 
indictment still stands; there is no statute of limitations on treason. 
The psychiatrists' opinion that he is incompétent to take part in 
his own défense still stands. Since he is not dangerous and since he 
receives no therapy at the hospital, he might be released — still 
under indictment, still adjudged incompétent to state his own case 
— ^in the custody of his wife and his friends, who are numerous and 
long-sufïering. Would this mean encouraging intrigues with the 
likes of young John Kasper? He is free for thèse intrigues now, and 
if they are to be taken seriously — if, that is, anyone is really to be- 
lieve that Ezra Pound is a force in our political life — his status as 
martyr and prisoner gives an extra cutting-edge of hâte and resent- 
ment to him and to his frowzier associâtes. Actually, there is no 
reason to believe that he is any sort of a force. He made some broad- 
casts for the fascists years ago. They were reprehensible. But, as he 
asked, "Does anyone hâve the faintest idea what î said?" No one 
does, unless he looks it up in the indictment. In the language he 
might be admiring if his contact with American Hfe was restored, 
we won the war and anyway, no one ever listened to that crazy 
jazz. The government, if it wished, could act not on grounds of 

265 



RICHARD H. ROVERE 

justice but on grounds of largesse. It has sat by while some pretty 
jow characters hâve been sprung in Germany, Italy, and Japan — 
real war criminals, now given positions of trust. The war-criminal 
side of Pound is as trivial in terms of history as his poetry is great. 
As Hayden Carruth v^rote in Perspectives USA, the publication 
distributed to the intelligentsia abroad in bundle lots, "It is hard to 
think of a good reason why Pound should not hâve his freedom 
immediately." 



266 



Arthur Miller 



THE MISFITS 



Arthur Miller visited Nevada for some weeks in 1956 and wrote 
this Western shortly after. Although he had written some earlier 
short stories (one of them, "A Regular Death Call," appeared in 
Esquive for August 1949), it is interesting to see him interrupting a 
busy and successful career as a playwright to return to that form. 
It is obvious that the subject and situation of "The Misfits" is not 
easily adaptable to the spatial limitations of the théâtre: the com- 
pulsion of the subject matter must hâve been very great. Less sure, 
perhaps, of his techniques in a nondramatic médium, Miller allowed 
his manuscript to be eut considerably for its appearance in Esquire 
for October 1957. The version which appears hère, how^ever, is the 
original uncut one: the long, essentially dramatic and visual opening 
séquence and several other passages were omitted in the magazine 
version. 



WIND BLEAV DOWN FROM THE MOUNTAINS ALL NIGHT. A WILD RIVER 

of air swept and swirled across the dark sky and struck down 
against the blue désert and hissed back into the hills. The three 
cowboys slept under their blankets, their backs against the fîrst 
upward curve of the circling mountains, their faces toward the 
désert of sage. The wind and its tidal washing seethed through their 
dreams and when it stopped there was a lunar silence that caused 
Gay Langland to open his eyes. For the iirst time in three nights 
he could hear his own breathing and in the new hush he looked up 
at the stars and saw how clear and bright they were. He felt happy 
and slid himself out of his blankets and stood up fully dressed. 

On the silent plateau between the two mountain ranges Gay 
Langland was the only moving thing. He turned his head and then 
his body in a full circle, looking into the deep blue sky for sign of 
storm. He saw that it would be a good day and a quiet one. He 
walked a few yards from the two other sleepers and wet the sandy 

267 



ARTHUR MILLER 

ground. The excitement of the stillness was awakening his body. 
He returned and lit the bundle of dry sage he had gathered last 
night, dropped some heavier wood on the quick fiâmes, perched the 
blackened coffee pot on the stones surrounding the fire-bed, and 
sat on one heel staring at the fresh orange embers. 

Gay Langland was forty-five years old, but as limber as he had 
ever been in his life. The light of his face brightened when there 
were things to do, a nail to straighten, an animal to size-up, and it 
dimmed when there was nothing in his hands, and his eyes then 
went sleepy. When there was something to be done in a place he 
stayed there, and when there was nothing to be done he went from 
it. He had a wife and two children less than a hundred miles from 
hère whom he had not seen in more than three years. She had be- 
trayed him and did not want him, but the children were naturally 
better off with their mother. When he felt lonely for them ail he 
thought of them longingly, and when the feeling passed it went 
unsettled, without leaving him with any question as to what he 
might do to bring them ail back together again. He had been born 
and raised on rangeland and he did not know that anything could 
be undone that was done, any more than falling rain could be stopped 
in midair. And he had a smile and a look in his face that was in ac- 
cordance. His forehead was evenly tracked with deep ridges, as 
though his brows were always raised a little expectantly, slightly 
surprised, a little amused, and his mouth friendly. His ears stuck 
out as they often do with little boys or young calves and he had a 
boy 's turned-up snub nose. But his skin was browned by the wind 
and his small eyes looked and saw, and above ail were trained 
against showing fear. 

Gay Langland looked up from the fire at the sky and saw the 
first délicate stain of pink. He went over to the sleepers and shook 
Guido Racanelli's arm. A grunt of salutation sounded in Guido's 
head but he remained on his side with his eyes shut. "The sumbitch 
died off," Gay said to him. Guido listened, motionless, his eyes shut 
against the firelight, his bones warm in his fat. Gay wanted to 
shake him again and wake him but in the last two days he had come 
to wonder whether Guido was not secretly considering not flying 
at ail. The plane's engine was rattling its valves and one shock ab- 
sorber was weak. Gay had known the pilot for years and he knew 
and respected his moods. Flying up and down thèse mountain 

268 



THE MISFITS 

gorges within feet of the rock walls was nothing you could pres- 
sure a man to do. But now that the wind had died Gay hoped very 
much that Guido would take ofF this morning and let them begin 
their work. He got to his feet and again glanced skywards. Then 
he stood there thinking of Roslyn. And he had a strong désire to 
hâve money in his pocket that he had earned himself when he came 
to her tonight. The feehng had been returning again and again that 
he had somehow passed the kidding point, and that he had to work 
again and earn his way as he always had before he met her. Not 
that he didn't work for her, but it wasn't the same. Driving her 
car, repairing her house, running errands — ail that stufF wasn't 
what you would call work. Still, he thought, it was too. Yet, it 
wasn't either. 

He stepped over to the other sleeper and shook him. Perce How- 
land opened his eyes. 

"The sumbitch died. Perce," Gay said. 

Perce's eyes looked toward the heavens and he nodded. Then he 
slid out of his blankets and walked past Gay and stood wetting the 
sand, breathing deeply as in sleep. Gay always found him humorous 
to watch when he woke up. Perce walked into things and some- 
times stood wetting his own boots. He was a little like a child 
waking up, and his eyes now were still dreamy and soft. 

Gay called over to him, "Better'n wages, huh Perce?" 

"Damn right," Perce muttered, and returned to the fire rubbing 
his skin against his clothes. 

Gay kneeled by the fire again, scraping hot coals into a pile and 
setting the frying pan over them on stones. He could pick up hot 
things without feeling pain. Now he moved an ember with his 
finger. 

"You make me nervous doing that," Perce said, looking down 
over his shoulder. 

"Nothin' but fire," Gay said, pleased. 

They were in silence for a moment, both of them enjoying the 
brightening air. "Guido goin' up?" Perce asked. 

"Didn't say. I guess he's thinkin' about it." 

"Be light pretty soon," Perce warned. 

He glanced ofî to the closest range, and saw the purple rocks 
rising in their mystery toward the faintly glowing stars. Perce 
Howland was twenty-two, hipless and tall, and he stood there as 

269 



ARTHUR MILLER 

efFortlessly as the mountains he was looking at, as though he had 
been created there in his dungarees, with the tight plaid shirt and 
the three-button cuffs, the broad-brimmed beige hat set back on 
his blond head, and his thumbs tucked into his belt so his fingers 
could touch the engraved belt buckle with his name spelled out un- 
der the raised figure of the bucking horse. It was his first bucking 
horse prize and he loved to touch it when he stood waiting, and he 
liked to wait. 

Perce had only known Gay Langland for fivt weeks, and Guido 
for three days. He had met Gay in a Bowie bar, and Gay had asked 
him where he was from and what he was doing and he had told 
Gay his story, which was the usual for most of the rodeo riders. 
He had corne on down from Nevada, as he had done since he was 
sixteen, to follow the local rodéos and win some money riding 
bucking horses, but this trip had been différent, because he had 
lost the désire to go back home again. 

They had become good friends that night when Gay took him 
to Roslyn's house to sleep, and when he woke in the morning he 
had been surprised that an educated Eastern woman should hâve 
been so regular and humorous and interested in his opinions. So 
he had been floating around with Roslyn and Gay Langland, and 
they were comfortable to him. Gay mostly, because Gay never 
thought to say he ought to be making something of his life. Gay 
made him feel it was ail right to go from day to day and week to 
week. Perce Howland did not trust anybody too far and it was not 
necessary to trust Gay because Gay did not want anything of him 
or try to manipulate him. He just wanted a partner to go mustang- 
ing, and Perce had never done anything like that and he wanted 
to see how it was. And now he was hère, sixty miles from the 
nearest town, seven thousand feet up in the air, and for two days 
waiting for the wind to die so the pilot could take off into the 
mountains where the wild horses lived. 

Perce looked out toward the désert which was beginning to 
show its silent horizon. "Bet the moon looks like this if anybody 
could get there." 

Gay Langland did not answer. In his mind he could feel the 
wild horses grazing and moving about in the nearby mountains 
and he wanted to get to them. Indicating Guido Racanelli, he said, 
"Give him a shake, Perce. The sun's about up." 

270 



THE MISFITS 

Perce started over to Guido who moved before Perce reached 
him. "Gettin' light, Guido," Perce said. 

Guido Racanelli rolled upright on his great behind, his belly 
slung over his belt, and he inspected the brightening sky in the 
distance as though some personal message were out there for him. 
The pink reflected light brightened his face. The flesh around 
his eyes was white where the goggles protected his face, and the 
rest of his skin was burned brown by wind. His silences were more 
profound than the silences of others because his cheeks were so 
deep, like the mellon-half cheeks of a baboon which curve for- 
ward from the mouth. Yet, they were hard cheeks, as hard as his 
great belly. He looked like a jungle bird now, slowly turning his 
head to inspect the faraway sky, a serions bird with a brown face 
and white eyes. His head was entirely bald. He took off his khaki 
army cap and rubbed his fingers into his scalp. 

Gay Langland stood up and walked to him and gave him his 
eggs and thick bacon on a tin plate. "Wind died, Guido," Gay 
said, standing there and looking down at the pilot. 

*'It doesn't mean much what it did down hère." Guido pointed 
skyward with his thumb. "Up there's where it counts." 

"Ain't no sign of wind up there," Gay said. Gay's eyes seemed 
amused. He did not want to seem committed to a real argument. 
"We got no more eggs, Guido," he warned. 

Guido ate. 

Now the sky flared with true dawn like damp paper suddenly 
catching fire. Perce and Gay sat down on the ground facing Guido 
and they ail ate their eggs. 

The shroud of darkness quickly slipped off the red truck which 
stood a few yards away. Then, behind it, the little plane showed 
itself. Guido Racanelli ate and sipped his coiïee, and Gay Lang- 
land watched him with a weak smile and without speaking. Perce 
blinked contentedly at the brightening sky, slightly detached from 
the other two. He finished his cofïee and slipped a chew of tobacco 
into his mouth and sucked on it. 

It was a pink day now ail around the sky. 

Gay Langland made a line in the sand between his thighs and 
said, "You goin' up, Guido?" He looked at Guido directly and 
he was still smiling. 

Guido thought for a moment. He was older, about fifty. His 

271 



ARTHUR MILLER 

pronunciation was unaccountably Eastern, with sharp R's. He 
sounded educated sometimes. He stared oiï toward the squat little 
plane. "Every once in a while I wonder what the hell it's ail about," 
he said. 

"What is?" Gay asked. 

Perce watched Guido's face, thoroughly listening. 

Guido felt their attention and spoke with ease and comfort. He 
still stared past them at the plane. "I got a lousy valve. I know it, 
Gay." 

"Been that way a long time, Guido," Gay said, with sympathy. 

"I know," Guido said. They were not arguing but searching 
now. "And we won't hardly get twenty dollars a pièce out of it — 
there's only four or five horses back in there." 

"We knew that, Guido," Gay said. They were in sympathy for 
one another. 

"I might just get myself killed, for twenty dollars." 

"Hell, you know them mountains," Gay said. 

"You can't see wind, Gay," the pilot said. (Gay knew now that 
he was going up right away. He saw that Guido had just wanted 
to get ail the dangers straight in his mind so he could see them and 
count them; then he would go out against them.) "You're flying 
along in and out of those passes and then you dive for the sons of 
bitches and just when you're pulling up some goddam gust presses 
you down and there you are." 

"I know," Gay said. 

There was silence. Guido sipped his coiîee, staring oiï at the 
plane. "I just wonder about it every once in a while," the pilot 
said. 

"Well hell," Perce Howland said, "it's better than wages." 

"You damn right it is. Perce," the pilot said thoughtfuUy. 

"I seen guys get killed who never left the ground," Perce said. 
The two older men knew that his father had been killed by a bull 
long ago and that he had seen his father die. He had had his own 
arms broken in rodéos and a Brahma bull had stepped on his chest. 
"One rodeo near Salinas I see a fella get his head snapped right 
clear ofï his chest by a cable busted. They had this cable drawin' 
horses up onto a truck. I seen his head rolling away like a bowlin' 
bail. Must've roll twenty-five yards before it hit a fence post and 
stopped." He spat tobacco juice and turned back to look at Guido. 

272 



THE MISFITS 

"It had a moustache. Funny thing, I never knowed that guy had a 
moustache. Never noticed it. Till I see it stop roUing and there 
it was, dust ail over the moustache." 

"That was a dusty moustache," Gay said, grinning. They ail 
smiled. Then time hung for a moment as they waited. And at last 
Guido shifted onto one buttock and said, "Well, let's get gassed 
up." 

Guido leaned himself to one side with his palm on the ground, 
then got to his feet by moving in a circle around this palm, and 
stood up. Gay and Perce Howland were already moving ofï to- 
ward the truck. Perce histing up his dungarees over his breakfast- 
full stomach, and the older Gay more sprightly and intent. Guido 
stood holding one hand open over the fîre, watching them loading 
the six enormous truck tires onto the bed of the truck. Each tire 
had a twenty-foot length of rope wired to it, and at the end of each 
rope was a loop. Before they swung the tires onto the truck, Gay 
inspected the ropes to be sure they were securely knotted to the 
tires, and the loops open and ready for throwing. 

Guido blinked against the warming sun, watching the other 
two, then he looked ofî to his right where the passes were, and 
the fîngers of his mind felt around beyond those passes into the 
bowls and hollows of the mountains where last wxek he had spotted 
the small herd of wild horses grazing. Now he felt the lightness he 
had been hoping to feel for three days, the good sensé of wanting 
to fly. For three days he had kept away from the plane because the 
careless feeling had been itching at him, the feehng which he al- 
ways thought would lead him to his death. About five weeks ago 
he had come up to this désert with Gay Langland and he had 
chased seven mustangs out of the mountains. But that time he had 
dived to within a foot of the mountain side, and afterward, as they 
sat around the fire eating dinner, Guido had had the feeling that he 
had made that deep dive so he could die. And the thought of his 
dead wife had come to him again, and the other thought that al- 
ways came into his mind with her dead face. It was the wonder- 
ment, the quiet pressing-in of the awareness that he had never 
wanted a woman after she had been buried with the still-born 
baby beside her in the graveyard outside Bowie. Seven years now 
he had waited for some real yearning for woman, and nothing at 
ail had come to him. It pleasured him to know that he was free of 

273 



ARTHUR MILLER 

that, and it sometimes made him careless in the plane, as though 
some great bang and a wreckage would make him again what he 
had been. By now he could go a week through Bowie and in an 
odd moment recall that he hadn't even looked at a girl walking by, 
and the feehng of carelessness would come on him, a kind of loose 
gaiety, as though everything was comical. Until he had made that 
dive and pulled out with his nose almost scraping the grass, and he 
had climbed upward with his mouth hanging open and his body 
in a sweat. So that through thèse past three days up hère he had 
refused to let himself take oiï until the wind had utterly died, and 
he had clung to moroseness. He wanted to take oiï in the absolute 
grip of his own wits, leaving nothing to chance, and now there 
was no wind at ail, and he felt he had pressed the lightness and the 
gaiety out of his mind. He left the dying iire and walked past Gay 
and Perce and down the gentle slope to the plane looking like a 
stout, serions football coach before the kick-off. 

He glanced over the fuselage and at the bald doughnut tires 
and he loved the plane. Again, as always, he looked at the weak- 
ened starboard shock absorber which no longer held its spread 
and let the plane stand tilted a little to one side, and told himself 
that it was not serions. He heard the truck motor starting, and he 
unfastened the knots of the ropes holding the plane to the spikes 
driven into the désert floor. Then the truck pulled up, and young 
Perce Howland dropped off and went over to the tail handle, 
gripped it, lifted the tail off the ground and swung her around so 
she faced out across the endless désert and away from the moun- 
tains. Then they unwound the rubber hose from the gas drum on 
the truck and stuck the nozzle into the gas tank behind the engine, 
and Perce turned the pump crank. 

Guido then walked around the wing and over to the cockpit 
whose right door was folded down, leaving the inside open to the 
air. He reached in and took out his ripped leather flight jacket and 
got into it. Perce stood leaning against the truck fender now, grin- 
ning. "That sure is a ventilated type jacket, Guido," he said. 

Then Guido said, "I can't get my size any more." The jacket 
had one sleeve off at the elbow, and the dried leather was split 
open down the back, showing the lamb's wool lining. He had 
bombed Germany in this jacket long ago. He reached in behind 
the seat and took out a goggle case, slipped his goggles out, re- 

274 



THE MISFITS 

placed the case, set his goggles securely on his face, and reached in 
again and took out a shotgun pistol and three shells from a little 
wooden box beside his seat. He loaded the pistol and laid it care- 
fully under his seat. Then he got into the cockpit, sat in his seat, 
drew the strap over his belly and buckled it. Meantime Gay had 
taken his position before the propeller. 

Guido called through the open doorway of the cockpit, "Turn 
her over, Gay-boy!" 

Gay stepped up to the propeller, glanced down behind his heels 
to be sure no stone waited to trip him when he stepped back, and 
pulled down on the blade and hopped back watchfully. 

"Give her another!" Guido called in the silence. 

Gay stepped up again, again glancing around his heels, and 
pulled the blade down. The engine inhaled and exhaled and they 
could ail hear the oily clank of her inner shafts turning loosely. 

"Ignition on, Gay-boy!" Guido called, and threw the switch. 

This time Gay inspected the ground around him even more care- 
fully, and pulled his hatbrim down tighter on his head. Perce stood 
leaning on the truck's front fender, spitting and chewing, his eyes 
softly squinted against the brazen sun. Gay reached up and pulled 
the propeller down and jumped back. A puiî of smoke floated up 
from the engine ports. 

"Goddam car gas," Guido said. "Ignition on. Go again, Gay- 
boy!" They were buying low octane to save money. 

Gay again stepped up to the propeller, swung the blade down, 
and the engine said its "Chaaahh!" and the ports breathed white 
smoke into the morning air. Gay walked over to Perce and stood 
beside him watching. The fuselage shuddered and the propeller 
turned into a wheel, and the dust blew pleasantly from behind the 
plane and toward the mountains. Guido gunned her and she tum- 
bled toward the open désert, bumping along over the sage clumps 
and crunching whitened skeletons of cattle killed by the winter. 
The stiff-backed plane grew smaller, shouldering its way over the 
broken ground, and then its nose turned upward and there was 
space between the doughnut tires and the désert, and lazily it 
climbed, turning back the way it had come. It flew over the heads 
of Perce and Gay who stood still as they always did, and Guido 
waved down, a stranger now and fiercely goggled and wrapped 
in leather, and they could see him exposed to the waist, turning 

275 



ARTHUR MILLER 

from them to look through the windshield at the mountains ahead 
of him. The plane flew away, climbing smoothly, losing itself 
against the orange and purple walls which vaulted up from the 
désert to hide from the cowboys' eyes the wild animais they 
wanted for themselves. 

II 

They would hâve at least two hours before the plane flew out 
of the mountains driving the horses before it, so they washed the 
three tin plates and the cups and stored them in the aluminum grub 
box. If Guido did find horses they would break camp and return 
to Bowie tonight, so they packed up their bedrolls with sailors' 
tidiness and laid them neatly side by side on the ground. The six 
great truck tires, each with its looped rope coiled within, lay in 
two piles on the bed of the truck. Gay Langland looked them over 
and touched them with his hand and stood for a moment trying 
to think if there was anything they were leaving behind. He 
jumped up on the truck to see that the cap was screwed tight on 
the gas drum which was lashed to the back of the cab up front, 
and it was. Then he hopped down to the ground and got into the 
cab and started the engine. Perce was already sitting there with 
his hat tipped forward against the yellow sunlight pouring through 
the windshield. A thin and concerned border collie came trotting 
up as Gay started to close his door and he invited her into the cab. 
She leaped up and he snugged her into the space between the 
clutch and the left wall of the cab. "Damn near forgot Belle," he 
said, and they started off. 

Gay owned the truck and he wanted to préserve the front end 
which he knew could be twisted out of line on broken ground. So 
he started oiî slowly. They could hear the gas sloshing in the drum 
behind them outside. It was getting warm now. They rode in 
silence staring ahead at the two-track trail they were following 
across the bone-cluttered sagebrush. Thirty miles ahead stood the 
lava mountains which were the northern border of this désert, 
the bed of a bowl seven thousand feet up, a place no one ever saw 
excepting the few cowboys searching for stray cattle every few 
months. People in Bowie, sixty miles away, did not know of this 
place. There were the two of them and the truck and the dog, 
and now that they were on the move they felt between them the 

276 



THE MISFITS 

comfort of purpose and their isolation, and Perce slumped in his 
seat blinking as though he would go to sleep again, and Gay 
smoked a cigarette and let his body flow from side to side with 
the pitching of the truck. There was a moving cloud of dust in 
the distance toward the left, and Gay said, "Antelope," and Perce 
tipped his hat back and looked. "Must be doin' sixty," he said, and 
Gay said, "More. I chased one once and I was doin' more than 
sixty and he lost me." Perce shook his head in wonder and they 
turned to look ahead again. 

After he had thought a while Perce said, "We better get over 
to Largo by tomorrow if we're gonna get into that rodeo. They's 
gonna be a crowd trying to sign up for that one." 

"We'll drive down in the morning," Gay said. 

"Fil hâve to see about gettin' me some stock." 

"We'll get there early tomorrow; you'U get stock if you come 
in early." 

"Like to win some money," Perce said. "I just wish I get me a 
good horse down there." 

"They be glad to fix you up, Perce. You're known pretty good 
around there now. They'll fix you up with some good stock," Gay 
said. Perce was one of the best bronc riders and the rodéos liked 
to hâve it known he would appear. 

Then there was silence. Gay had to hold the gear shift lever in 
high or it would slip out into neutral when they hit bumps. The 
transmission fork was worn out, he knew, and the front tires were 
going too. He dropped one hand to his pants pocket and felt the 
four silver dollars he had from the ten Roslyn had given him when 
they had left her days ago. 

As though he had read Gay's mind. Perce said, "Roslyn 
would' ve liked it up hère. She'd liked to hâve seen that antelope, I 
bet." Perce grinned as both of them usually did at Roslyn's East- 
ern surprise at everything they did and saw and said. 

"Yeah," Gay said, "she likes to see things." 

Through the corner of his eye he watched the younger man 
who was looking ahead with a little grin on his face. "She's a 
damned good sport, old Roslyn," Gay said. 

"Sure is," Perce lïowland said. And Gay watched him for any 
sign of guile, but there was only a look of glad appréciation. "First 
woman like that I ever met," the younger man said. 

277 



ARTHUR MILLER 

"They's more," Gay said. "Some of them Eastern women fool 
you sometimes. They got éducation but they're good sports. And 
damn good ivomen too, some of them." 

There was a silence. Then the younger man asked, "You get to 
know a lot of them? Eastern women?" 

"Ah, I get one once in a while," Gay said. 

"Only educated women I ever know they was back home near 
Teachers Collège. Students. Y'know," he said, warming to the 
memory, "I used to think, hell, education's everything. But when 
I saw the husbands some of them got married to — schoolteachers 
and everything, why I don't give them much crédit. And they 
just as soon climb on a man as tell him good morning. I was teachin' 
them to ride for a while near home." 

"Just because a woman's educated don't mean much. Woman's 
a woman," Gay said. The image of his wife came into his mind. 
For a moment he wondered if she were still living with the same 
man he had beaten up when he discovered them together in a 
parked car six years ago. 

"You divorced?" Perce asked. 

"No. I never bothered with it," Gay said. It always surprised 
him how Perce said just what was on his mind sometimes. "How'd 
you know I was thinkin' of that?" he asked, grinning with embar- 
rassment. But he was too curions to keep silent. 

"Hell, I didn't know," Perce said. 

"You're always doin* that. I think of somethin' and you go 
ahead and say it." 

"That's funny," Perce said. 

They rode on in silence. They were nearing the middle of the 
désert where they would turn east. Gay was driving faster now 
because he wanted to get to the rendezvous and sit quietly waiting 
for the plane to appear. He held onto the gear shift lever and felt 
it trying to spring out of high and into neutral. It would hâve to 
be fîxed. The time was coming fast when he would need about 
fifty dollars or sell the truck, because it would be useless without 
repairs. Without a truck and without a horse he would be down 
to what was in his pocket. 

Perce spoke out of the silence. "If I don't win Saturday Fm 
gonna hâve to do something for money." 

"Goddam, you always say what's in my mind." 

278 



THE MISFITS 

Perce laughed. His face looked very young and pink. "Why?" 

"I was just now thinkin'/' Gay said, "what Fm gonna do for 
money." 

"Well, Roslyn give you some," Perce said. 

He said it innocently, and Gay knew it was innocent, and yet 
he felt angry blood moving into his neck. Something had hap- 
pened in thèse five weeks and Gay did not know for sure what it 
was. Roslyn had taken to calling Perce cute and now and again 
she would bend over and kiss him on the back of the neck when 
he was sitting in the hving room chair, drinking with them. 

Not that that meant anything in itself because he'd known East- 
ern women before who'd do something Hke that and it was just 
their way. Especially collège graduate divorced women. What he 
wondered at was Perce's way of hardly even noticing what she 
did to him. Sometimes it was like he'd already had her and could 
ignore her the way a man will who knows he's boss. But then Gay 
thought it might just be that he really wasn't interested, or maybe 
that he was keeping cool in déférence to Gay. 

Again Gay felt a terrible longing to earn money working. He 
sensed the bottom of his life falling if it turned out Roslyn had 
really been loving this boy beside him. It had happened to him 
once before with his wife but this frightened him more and he did 
not know exactly why. Not that he couldn't do without Roslyn. 
There wasn't anybody or anything he couldn't do without. She 
w^as about his âge and full of laughter that was not laughter and 
gaiety that was not gaiety and adventurousness that was labored, 
and he knew ail this perfectly well even as he laughed with her 
and was high with her in the bars and rodéos. He had only lived 
once, and that was when he had had his house and his wife and 
his children. He knew the différence, but you never kept any- 
thing and he had never particularly thought about keeping any- 
thing or losing anything. He had been ail his life like Perce How- 
land sitting beside him now, a man moving on or ready to. It was 
only when he discovered his wife with a stranger that he knew he 
had had a stake to which he had been pleasurably tethered. He had 
not seen her or his children for years, and only rarely thought 
about any of them. Any more than his father had thought of him 
very much after the day he had gotten on his pony, when he was 
fourteen, to go to town from the ranch, and had kept going into 

279 



ARTHUR MILLER 

Montana and stayed there for three years. He lived in his country 
as his father did and it was the same endless range wherever he 
went and it connected him sufficiently with his father and his wife 
and his children. AU might turn up sometime in some town or at 
some rodeo where he might happen to look over his shoulder and 
see his daughter or one of his sons, or they might never turn up. 
He had neither left anyone nor not-left as long as they were ail 
alive on thèse ranges, for everything hère was always beyond the 
furthest shot of vision and far away, and mostly he had worked 
alone or with one or two men between distant mountains anyway. 

He drove steadily across the grand plateau in the truck with 
Perce Howland beside him, and he felt he was going to be afraid 
soon. He was not afraid now, but something new was opening up 
inside him. He wanted very much to earn money by working and 
he kept turning over in his mind the idea of handling money he 
had earned by his work instead of money Roslyn had given him. 
He grew tired of thinking about it. 

In the distance now he could see the shimmering wall of the beat 
waves rising from the clay flatland they wanted to get to. Now 
they were approaching doser and it opened to them beyond the 
beat waves, and they could see once again how vast it was, a pre- 
historic lakebed thirty miles long by seventeen miles wide, 
couched between the two mountain ranges. It was a flat, beige 
waste without grass or bush or stone where a man might drive a 
car at a hundred miles an hour with his hands off the wheel and 
never hit anything at ail. They drove in silence. The truck stopped 
bouncing as the tires rolled over barder ground where there were 
fewer sage clumps. The waves of beat were dense before them and 
they drove through them as through dreams of watery cascades. 
Now the truck rolled smoothly and they were on the clay lake- 
bed and when they had gone a few hundred yards onto it Gay 
pulled up and shut off the engine. The air was still in a dead, sun- 
lit silence. When he opened his door he could hear a squeak in 
the hinge he had never noticed before. When they walked around 
out hère they could hear their shirts rasping against their backs 
and the brush of a sleeve against their trousers. 

They stood on the clay ground which was as hard as concrète, 
and turned to look the way they had come. They looked back 
toward the mountains at whose feet they had camped and slept, 

280 



THE MISFITS 

and scanned their ridges for Guido's plane. It was too early for 
him and they made themselves busy taking the gas drum ofï the 
truck and setting it a few yards away on the ground because they 
would want the truck bed clear when the time came to run the 
horses down. Then they climbed up and sat inside the tires with 
their necks against the tire beads and their legs hanging over. 

Perce said, "I sure hope they's five up in there." 

"Guido saw ûve, he said." 

"He said he wasn't sure if one wasn't only a coït," Perce said. 

Gay let himself keep silence. He felt he was going to argue with 
Perce. He watched Perce through the corner of his eye, saw the 
flat, blond cheeks and the strong, lean neck and there was some- 
thing tricky about Perce now. "How long you think you'll be 
stayin' around hère, Perce?" he asked. 

They were both watching the distant ridges for a sign of the 
plane. 

"Don't know," Perce said, and spat over the side of the truck. 
"Fm gettin' a little tired of this, though." 

"Well, it's better than wages, Perce." 

"Hell yes. Anything's better than wages." 

Gay's eyes crinkled. "You're a real misfit, boy." 

"That suits me fine," Perce said. They often had this conversa- 
tion and savored it. "Better than workin' for some goddam cow 
outfit buckarooin' so somebody else can buy gas for his Cadillac." 

"Damn right," Gay said. 

"Hell, Gay, you are the most misfitted man I ever saw and you 
done ail right." 

"I got no complaints," Gay said. 

"I don't want nothin' and I don't want to want nothin'." 

"That's the way, boy." 

Gay felt doser to him again and he was glad for it. He kept his 
eyes on the ridges far away. The sun felt good on his shoulders. "I 
think he's havin' trouble with them sumbitches up in there." 

Perce stared out at the ridges. "Ain't two hours yet." Then he 
turned to Gay. "Thèse mountains must be cleaned out by now, 
ain't they?" 

"Just about," Gay said. "Just a couple small herds left. Can't do 
much more around hère." 

"What you goin' to do when you got thèse cleaned out?" 

281 



ARTHUR MILLER 

"Might go North, I think. Supposed to be some big herds in 
around Thighbone Mountain and that range up in there." 

"How far's that?" 

"North about a hundred miles. If I can get Guido interested." 

Perce smiled. "He don't like movin' around much, does he." 

"He's just misfitted Hke the rest of us," Gay said. "He don't 
want nothin'." Then he added, "They wanted him for an airline 
pilot flyin' up into Montana and back. Good pay too." 

"Wouldn't do it, huh?" 

"Not Guido," Gay said, grinning. "Might not like some of the 
passengers, he told them." 

Both men laughed and Perce shook his head in admiration for 
Guido. Then he said, "They wanted me take over the riding 
academy up home. I thought about that. Two hundred a month 
and board. Easy work too. You don't hardly hâve to ride at ail. 
Just stand around and see the customers get satisfied and put them 
girls oiï and on." 

He fell silent. Gay knew the rest. It was the same story always. 
It brought him doser to Perce and it was what he had liked about 
Perce in the first place. Perce didn't like wages either. He had 
come on Perce in a bar where the boy was buying drinks for 
everybody with his rodeo winnings, and his hair still clotted with 
blood from a bucking horse's kick an hour earlier. Roslyn had 
offered to get a doctor for him and he had said, "Thank you 
kindly. But I ain't bad hurt. If you're bad hurt you gonna die and 
the doctor can't do nothin', and if you ain't bad hurt you get 
better anyway without no doctor." 

Now it suddenly came upon Gay that Perce had known Roslyn 
before they had met in the bar. He stared at the boy's profile. 
"Want to come up North with me if I go?" he asked. 

Perce thought a moment. "Think l'U stay around hère. Not 
much rodeoin' up North." 

"I might find a pilot up there, maybe. And Roslyn drive us up 
in her car." 

Perce turned to him, a little surprised. "Would she go up there?" 

"Sure. She's a damn good sport," Gay said. He watched Perce's 
eyes which had turned interested and warm. 

Perce said, "Well, maybe; except to tell you the truth, Gay, I 
never feel comfortable takin' thèse horses for chicken feed." 

282 



THE MISFITS 

"Somebody's goin' to take them if we don't." 

"I know," Perce said. He turned to watch the far ridges again. 
"Just seems to me they belong up there." 

"They ain't doin' nothin' up there but eatin' out good cattle 
range. The cow outfits shoot them down if they see them." 

"I know," Perce said. 

"They don't even bother takin' them to slaughter. They just rot 
up there if the cow outfits get to them." 

"I know," Perce said. 

There was silence. Neither bug nor lizard nor rabbit moved on 
the great basin around them and the sun warmed their necks and 
their thighs. Gay said, "Fd a soon sell them for riding horscs but 
they ain't big enough, except for a kid. And the freight on them's 
more than they're worth. You saw them — they ain't nothin' but 
skinny horses." 

"I just don't know if Fd want to see like a hundred of them 
goin' for chicken feed, though. I don't mind Uke Rve or six, but a 
hundred's a lot of horses. I don't know." 

Gay thought. *'Well, if it ain't this it's wages. Around hère 
anyway." He was speaking of himself and explaining himself. 

"Fd just as soon ride buckin' horses and make out that way, 
Gay." Perce turned to him. "Although I might go up North with 
you. I don't know." 

"Roslyn wouldn't come out hère at first," Gay said, "but soon 
as she saw what they looked like she stopped complainin' about it. 
You didn't hear her complainin' about it." 

"I ain't complainin', Gay. I just don't know. Seems to me God 
put them up there and they belong up there. But Fm doin' it 
and I guess Fd go on doin' it. I don't know." 

"Sounds to me like the newspapers. They want their steaks, 
them people in town, but they don't want castration or branding 
or cleanin' wild horses ofï the ranges." 

"Hell, man, I castrated more buUs than I got hairs on my head," 
Perce said. 

"I better get the glasses," Gay said, and shd out of the tire in 
which he had been lounging and ofï the truck. He went to the 
cab and reached in and brought out a pair of binoculars, blew on 
the lenses, mounted the truck, and sat on a tire with his elbows 
resting on his knees. He put the glasses to his eyes and focused 

283 



ARTHUR MILLER 

them. The mountains came up close with their pocked, blue hides. 
He found the pass through which he believed the plane would 
corne and studied its slopes and scanned the air above it. Anger was 
still warming him. "God put them up there!" Why, Christ, God 
put everything everywhere. Did that mean you couldn't eat chick- 
ens, for instance, or beef ? His dislike for Perce was flowing into 
him again. 

They heard the shotgun ofF in the sky somewhere and they 
stoppe d moving. Gay narrowed his eyes and held the binoculars 
perfectly still. 

"See anything?" Perce asked. 

"He's still in the pass, I guess," Gay said. 

They sat still, watching the sky over the pass. The moments 
went by. The sun was making them perspire now and Gay wiped 
his wet eyebrows with the back of one hand. They heard the shot- 
gun again from the gênerai sky. Gay spoke without lowering the 
glasses: "He's probably blasting them out of some corner." 

Perce quickly arched out of his tire. "I see him," he said quickly. 
"I see him glintin', I see the plane." 

It angered Gay that Perce had seen him first without glasses. 
In the glasses Gay could see the plane clearly now. It was flying 
out of the pass, circling back and disappearing into the pass again. 
"He's got them in the pass now. Just goin' back in for them." 

"Can you see them?" Perce asked. 

"He ain't got them in the clear yet. He just went back in for 
them." 

Now through his glasses he could see moving specks on the 
ground where the pass opened onto the désert table. "I see them," 
he said. He counted, moving his lips. "One, two, three, four. Four 
and a coït." 

"We gonna take the coït?" Perce asked. 

"Hell, can't take the mare without the coït." 

Perce said nothing. Then Gay handed him the glasses. "Take a 
look." 

Gay slid off the truck bed and went forward to the cab and 
opened its door. His dog lay shivering on the floor under the 
pedals. He snapped his fingers and she warily got up and leaped 
down to the ground and stood there quivering as she always did 
when wild horses were coming. He watched her sit and wet the 

284 



THE MISFITS 

ground, and how she moved with such care and concern and fear, 
snifîing the ground and moving her head in slow motion and set- 
ting her paws down as though the ground had hidden explosives 
everywhere. He left her there and climbed onto the truck and sat 
on a tire beside Perce who was still looking through the glasses. 

"He's divin' down on them. God, they sure can run." 

"Let's hâve a look," Gay said and reached out and Perce handed 
him the glasses, saying, "They're comin' on fast." 

Gay watched the horses in the glasses. The plane was starting 
down toward them from the arc of its climb. They swerved as the 
roaring motor came down over them, lifted their heads, and gal- 
loped faster. They had been running now for over an hour and 
would slow down when the plane had to climb after a dive and 
the motor's noise grew quieter. As Guido climbed again Gay and 
Perce heard a shot, distant and harmless, and the shot sped the 
horses on again as the plane took time to bank and turn. Then as 
they slowed the plane returned over them, diving down over their 
backs, and their heads shot up again and they galloped until the 
engine's roar receded over them. The sky was clear and lightly 
blue and only the little plane swung back and forth across the dés- 
ert like the glinting tip of a magie wand, and the horses came on 
toward the vast stripped clay bed where the truck was parked. 

The two men on the truck exchanged the glasses from time to 
time. Now they sat upright on the tires waiting for the horses to 
reach the edge of the lakebed when Guido would land the plane 
and they would take ofï with the truck. And now the horses 
stopped. 

"They see the beat waves," Gay said, looking through the 
glasses. He could see the horses trotting with raised, alarmed heads 
along the edge of the barren lakebed which they feared because 
the beat waves rose from it like liquid in the air, and yet their nos- 
trils did not smell water and they dared not move ahead onto un- 
knowable territory. The plane dived down on them and they scat- 
tered but would not go forward onto the lakebed from the cooler, 
sage-dotted désert behind them. Now the plane banked high in the 
air and circled out behind them over the désert and banked again 
and came down within yards of the ground and roared in behind 
them almost at the height of their heads, and as it passed over them, 
rising, the men on the truck could hear the shotgun. Now the horses 

285 



ARTHUR MILLER 

leaped forward onto the lakebed ail scattered and heading in dif- 
férent directions, and they were only trotting, exploring the 
ground under their feet and the strange, superheated air in their 
nostrils. Gradually, as the plane wound around the sky to dive 
again they closed ranks and slowly galloped shoulder to shoulder 
ont onto the borderless lakebed. The coït galloped a length behind 
with its nose nearly touching the mare's long silky tail. 

"That's a big mare," Perce said. His eyes were still dreamy and 
his face was calm, but his skin had reddened. 

"She's a bigger mare than usual up there, ya," Gay said. Both 
men watched the little herd now, even as they got to their feet 
on the truck. There was the big mare, as large as any fuU-grown 
horse, and both of them downed their surprise at the sight of her. 
They knew the mustang herds lived in total isolation and that in- 
breeding had reduced them to the size of large ponies. The herd 
swerved now and they saw the stallion. He was smaller than the 
mare but still larger than any they had brought down before. The 
other two horses were small, the way mustangs ought to be. 

The plane was coming down for a landing now. Gay and Perce 
Howland moved to the forward edge of the truck's bed where a 
strap of white webbing was strung at hip height between two 
stanchions protruding upward from sockets at the corners of the 
truck. They drew another web strap from one stanchion to the 
other and stood inside the two. Perce tied the back strap to his 
stanchion. Then they turned around inside their harness and each 
reached into a tire behind him and drew out a coil of rope whose 
ends hung in a loop. They glanced out on the lakebed and saw 
Guido taxiing toward them and they stood waiting for him. He 
eut the engine twenty yards from the truck and leaped out of the 
open cockpit before the plane had halted. He lashed the tail of 
the plane to a rope which was attached to a spike driven into the 
clay, and trotted over to the truck lifting his goggles off and 
stufîing them into his torn jacket pocket. Perce and Gay called 
out laughingly to him but he seemed hardly to hâve seen them. His 
face was pufïed with préoccupation. He jumped into the cab of 
the truck and the collie dog jumped in after him and sat on the 
floor, quivering. He started the truck and roared ahead across the 
flat clay into the watery waves of beat. 

They could see the herd standing still in a small clôt of dots 

286 



THE MISFITS 

more than two miles ofï. The truck rolled smoothly and in the cab 
Guido glanced at the speedometer and saw it was past sixty. He 
had to be careful not to turn over and he dropped back to fifty-fîve. 
Gay on the right front corner of the truck bed and Perce Howland 
on the left, pulled their hats down to their eyebrows and hefted 
the looped ropes which the wind was threatening to coil and fowl 
in their palms. Guido knew that Gay Langland was a good roper 
and that Perce was unsure, so he headed for the herd's left in order 
to come up to them on Gay's side of the truck if he could. This 
whole method, the truck, the tires, the ropes and the plane were 
Guido's invention and once again he felt the joy of having thought 
of it ail. He drove with both heavy hands on the wheel and his left 
foot ready over the brake pedal. He reached for the shift lever to 
feel if it were going to spring out of gear and into neutral but it 
felt tight and if they did not hit a bump he could rely on it. The 
herd had started to walk but it stopped again now and the horses 
were looking at the truck, ears raised, necks stretched up and for- 
ward. Guido smiled a little. They looked silly to him standing 
there, but he knew and pitied them their ignorance. 

The wind smashed against the faces of Perce and Gay standing 
on the truck bed. The brims of their hats flowed up and back from 
a low point in front and their faces were dark red. They saw the 
horses watching their approach at a standstill. And as they roared 
doser and doser they saw that this herd was beautiful. 

Perce Howland turned his head to Gay who glanced at him at 
the same time. There had been much rain this spring and this herd 
must hâve found good pasture. They were well-rounded and shin- 
ing. The mare was almost black and the stallion and the two 
others were deeply brown. The coït was curly-coated and had 
a gray sheen. The stallion dipped his head suddenly and turned his 
back on the truck and galloped. The others turned and clattered 
after him with the coït running alongside the mare. Guido pressed 
down on the gas and the truck surged forward, whining. They 
were a few yards behind the animais now and they could see the 
bottoms of their hoofs, fresh hoofs that had never been shod. 
They could see the fuU mânes flying and the thick and long black 
tails that would hang down to their fetlocks when they were still. 
The truck was coming abreast of the mare now and beside her 
the others galloped with only a loud ticking noise on the clay. 

287 



ARTHUR MILLER 

It was a gentle tacking clatter for they were light-footed and un- 
shod. They were slim-legged and wet after running almost two 
hours in this alarm, but as the truck drew alongside the mare and 
Gay began twirling his loop above his head, the whole herd 
wheeled away to the right and Guido jammed the gas peddle down 
and swung with them, but they kept galloping in a circle and he 
did not hâve the speed to keep abreast of them so he slowed down 
and fell behind them a few yards until they would straighten out 
and move ahead again. And they wheeled Hke circus horses, slower 
now, for they were at the edge of their strength, and suddenly 
Guido saw a breadth between the staUion and the two browns and 
he sped in between, cutting the mare off at the left with her coït. 
Now the horses stretched, the clatter quickened. Their hind legs 
flew straight back and their necks stretched low and forward. Gay 
whirled his loop over his head and the truck came up alongside 
the stallion whose lungs were hoarsely screaming with exhaustion 
and Gay flung the noose. It fell on the stallion's head and with a 
whipping of the lead Gay made it fall over his neck. The horse 
swerved away to the right and stretched the rope until the tire was 
pulled off the truck bed and dragged along the hard clay. The 
three men watched from the slowing truck as the stallion, with 
startled eyes, pulled the giant tire for a few yards, then leaped up 
with his forelegs in the air and came down facing the tire and try- 
ing to back away from it. Then he stood still, heaving, his hind 
legs dancing in an arc from right to left and back again as he shook 
his head in the remorseless noose. 

As soon as he was sure the stallion was secure, Guido scanned 
the lakebed and without stopping turned sharply left toward the 
mare and the coit which were trotting idly together by themselves. 
The two browns were already disappearing toward the north but 
Guido knew they would hait soon because they were tired, while 
the mare might continue to the edge of the lakebed and back into 
her familiar hills where the truck could not follow. He straight- 
ened the truck and jammed down the gas pedal. In a minute he 
was straight on behind her and he drew up on her left side be- 
cause the coït was running on her right. She was very heavy, he 
saw, and he wondered now if she were a mustang at ail. As he 
drove alongside her his eye ran across her flanks seeking out a 
brand but she seemed unmarked. Then through his right window 

288 



THE MISFITS 

he saw the loop flying out and down over her head, and he saw 
her head fly up and then she fell back. He turned to the right, brak- 
ing with his left boot, and he saw her dragging a tire and coming 
to a hait with the free coït watching her and trotting beside her 
very close. Then he headed straight ahead across the flat toward 
two specks which rapidly enlarged until they became the two 
browns which were at a standstill and watching the oncoming 
truck. He came in between them and as they galioped, Perce on 
the left roped one and Gay roped the other almost at the same 
time. And Guido leaned his head out of his window and yelled up 
at Perce, who was on the truck bed on his side: *'Good boy!" he 
hollered, and Perce let himself return an excited grin, although 
there seemed to be some trouble in his eyes. 

Guido made an easy half circle and headed back to the mare and 
the coït and in a few minutes he slowed to a hait some twenty 
yards away and got out of the cab. The dog remained sitting on 
the floor of the cab, shaking ail over her body. 

The three men approached the mare. She had never seen a man 
and her eyes were wide in fear. Her rib cage stretched and col- 
lapsed very rapidly and there was a trickle of blood coming out 
of her nostrils. She had a heavy, dark brown mane and her tail 
nearly touched the ground. The coït with dumb eyes shifted about 
on its silly bent legs trying to keep the mare between itself and 
the men and the mare kept shifting her rump to shield the coït from 
them. 

They wanted now to move the noose higher up on the mare's 
neck because it had fallen on her from the rear and was tight 
around the middle of her neck where it could choke her if she 
kept pulling against the weight of the tire. They had learned from 
previous forays that they could not leave a horse tied that way 
without the danger of suffocation and they wanted them alive un- 
til they could bring a larger truck from Bowie and load them on it. 

Gay was the best roper so Perce and Guido stood by as he 
twirled a noose over his head, then let it fall open softly, just be- 
hind the forefeet of the mare. They waited for a moment, then 
approached her and she backed a step. Then Gay pulled sharply 
on the rope and her forefeet were tied together. Then with an- 
other rope Gay lass'd her hind feet and she swayed and fell to the 
ground on her side. Her body swelled and contracted, but she 

289 



ARTHUR MILLER 

seemed resigned. The coït stretched its nose to her tail and stood 
there as the men came to the mare and spoke quietly to her, and 
Guido bent down and opened the noose and slipped it up under 
her jaw. They inspected her for a brand but she was clean. 

"Never see a horse that size up hère," Gay said to Guido. 

Guido stood there looking down at the great mare. 

Perce said, "Maybe wild horses was ail big once," and he looked 
to Guido for confirmation. 

Guido bent and sat on his heels and opened the mare's mouth 
and the other two looked in with him. "She's fifteen if she's a day," 
Gay said, and to Perce he said, "She wouldn't be around much 
longer anyway." 

"Ya, she's old," Perce agreed, and his eyes were fîUed with 
thought. 

Guido stood up and the three went back to the truck. Perce 
hopped up and sat on the truck bed with his legs dangling, and 
Gay sat in the cab with Guido. They drove across the lakebed to 
the stallion and stopped, and the three of them approached him. 

"Ain't a bad lookin' horse," Perce said. 

They stood inspecting the horse for a moment. He was stand- 
ing still now, heaving for breath and bleeding from the nostrils. 
His head was down, holding the rope taut, and he was looking at 
them with his deep brown eyes that were like the lenses of enor- 
mous binoculars. Gay got his rope ready in his hand. "He ain't 
nothin' but a mislit," he said, "except for some kid. You couldn't 
run cattle with him and he's too small for a riding horse." 

"He is small," Perce conceded. "Got a nice neck, though." 

"Oh, they're nice lookin^ horses, some of them," Guido said. 
"What the hell you goin' to do with them, though? Cost more to 
ship them anywhere than they'd bring." 

Gay twirled the loop over his head and they spread out around 
the stalhon. "They're just old misfit horses, that's ail," he said, and 
he flung the rope behind the stallion's forelegs and the horse backed 
a step and he drew the rope and the noose bit into the horse's lower 
legs drawing them together, and he swayed but he would not fall. 
"Take hold," Gay calied to Perce, who ran around the horse and 
grabbed onto the rope and held it taut. Then Gay went back to 
the truck, got another rope, returned to the rear of the horse and 

290 



THE MISFITS 

looped his hind legs. But the stallion would not fall. Guido stepped 
doser to push him over but he swung his head and showed his teeth 
and Guido stepped back. "Pull on it!" Guido yelled to Gay and 
Perce, and they pulled on their ropes to trip the stallion but he 
righted himself and stood there bound by the head to the tire and 
his feet by the two ropes which the men held. Then Guido hurried 
over to Perce and took the rope from him and walked with it 
toward the rear of the horse and pulled hard. The stallion's fore- 
feet slipped back and he came down on his knees and his nose 
struck the clay ground and he snorted as he struck, but he would 
not topple over and stayed there on his knees as though he were 
bowing to something with his nose propping up his head against 
the ground and his sharp bursts of breath blowing up dust in little 
clouds under his nostrils. Now Guido gave the rope back to young 
Perce Howland who held it taut and he came up alongside the 
stallion's neck and laid his hands on the side of the neck and pushed 
and the horse fell over onto his flank and lay there, and like the 
mare, when he felt the ground against his body he seemed to let 
himself out and for the first time his eyes blinked and his breath 
came now in sighs and no longer fiercely. Guido shifted the noose 
up under his jaw, and they opened the ropes around his hooves 
and when he felt his legs free he fîrst raised his head curiously and 
then clattered up and stood there looking at them, from one to the 
other, blood dripping from his nostrils and a stain of deep red on 
both dusty knees. For a moment the three men stood watching him 
to be sure he was tightly noosed around the neck. Only the clack- 
ing of the truck's engine sounded on the enormous floor between 
the mountains and the wheezing inhale of the horse and his blow- 
ing out of air. Then the men moved without hurrying to the truck 
and Gay stored his two extra ropes between the seat of the cab 
and got behind the wheel with Guido beside him, and Perce 
climbed onto the back of the truck and lay down facing the sky 
and made a pillow with his palms. 

Gay headed the truck south toward where they knew the plane 
was, although it was beyond their vision yet. Guido was slowly 
catching his breath and now he lighted a cigarette, puffed it, and 
rubbed his left hand into his bare scalp. He sat gazing out the wind- 
shield and the side window. "Fm sleepy," he said. 

291 



ARTHUR MILLER 

"What you reckon?" Gay asked. 

"What you?" Guido said. He had dust in his throat and his voice 
sounded high and almost girlish. 

"That mare might be six hundred pounds." 

"Fd say about that, Gay/' Guido agreed. 

"About four hundred apiece for the browns and a little more for 
the stallion." 

"That's about the way I figured." 

"What's that corne to?" 

Guido thought. "Nineteen hundred, maybe two thousand," he 
said. 

They fell silent figuring the money. Two thousand pounds at 
six cents a pound came to a hundred and twenty dollars. The coït 
might make it a few dollars more, but not much. Figuring the gas 
for the plane and the truck, and twelve dollars for their gro- 
ceries, they came to the figure of a hundred dollars for the three 
of them. Guido would get forty-five dollars, since he had used his 
plane, and Gay would get thirty-five including the use of his truck, 
and Perce Flowland, if he agreed, as he undoubtedly would, had 
the remaining twenty. 

They fell silent after they had said the figures, and Gay drove 
in thought. Then he said, "We shouldVe watered them the last 
time. They can pick up a lot of weight if you let them water." 

"Yeah, let's be sure to do that," Guido said. 

They knew they would as likely as not forget to water the 
horses bef ore they unloaded them at the dealer's lot in Bowie. They 
would be in a hurry to unload and to be free of the horses and only 
la ter, as they were doing now, would they remind themselves that 
by letting the horses drink their fill they could pick up another 
fifteen or twenty dollars in added weight. They were not think- 
ing of the money any more, once they had figured it, and if Perce 
were to object to his smaller share they would both hand him a 
fîve or ten dollar bill or more if he wanted it. They were only 
abiding by a custom ahen to them of dividing money with any 
self-interest or guile. They had not come hère for the money, not 
that they were above wanting money, but because they would 
soon be rid of it and there wasn't enough to matter anyway. They 
had no belief in money and it was not real to them any more than 
it is real to children, who do not understand price and the value 

292 



THE MISFITS 

of things. They believed in the range and they had an abiding 
faith that one way or another they would never really corne to 
want, even if they had to hire out to a cow outfît and work cattle 
for a while, and they rarely had to do that. There was always 
something, a friend to borrow from or a truck to sell, or running 
mustangs. They wanted only to be and now as they rolled on 
toward the plane which Guido would fly off to Bowie in the dis- 
tant Valley where people were, they knew that it was over for a 
while, that they had done what they had planned to do. Now, for 
a while, they would pitch and roll with time on their hands, won- 
dering what to do next, and then that next thing would corne along 
and they would do it and be interested in it while it was going on 
and then time would return and they would sit it out in bars or 
sleeping or in Gay's case going around with Roslyn or even build- 
ing a new addition to her cabin for her, and in Perce's case, riding 
a bucking horse some Saturday in a local rodeo. 

Gay stopped the truck beside the plane at the edge of the lake- 
bed. The tethered horses were far away now, excepting for the 
mare and her coït which stood in clear view less than half a mile 
off. Guido opened his door and said to Gay, "See you in town. 
Let's get the other truck tomorrow morning." 

"Perce wants to go over to Largo and sign up for the rodeo 
tomorrow," Gay said. "Tell ya — we'U go in and get the truck and 
come back hère this afternoon maybe. Maybe we bring them in 
tonight." 

"Ail right, if you want to. l'U see you boys tomorrow," Guido 
said, and he got out and stopped for a moment to talk to Perce. 
"Perce?" he said. 

Perce propped himself up on one elbow and looked down at 
him. He looked very sleepy. Guido smiled. "You sleeping?" 

Perce's eyelids almost seemed swollen and his face was indrawn 
and troubled. "I was about to," he said. 

Guido let the reprimand pass. "We figure about a hundred dol- 
lars clear. Twenty ail right for you?" 

"Ya, twenty's ail right," Perce said, blinking heavily. He hardly 
seemed to be listening. 

"See you in town," Guido said, and turned and waddled off to 
the plane where Gay was already standing with his hands on the 
propeller blade. Guido got in and Gay swung the blade down and 

293 



ARTHUR MILLER 

the engine started immediately. Guido waved to Gay and Perce 
who raised one hand slightly from the truck bed. Guido gunned 
the plane and she trundled ofï and into the sky and the two men 
on the ground watched her as she flew toward the mountains and 
away. 

Now Gay returned to the truck and as he started to climb in 
behind the wheel he looked at Perce who was still propped up on 
one elbow and he said, "Twenty ail right?" And he said this be- 
cause he thought Perce looked hurt. 

"Heh? Ya, twenty 's ail right," Perce answered. Then he let 
himself down from the truck bed and Gay got behind the wheel. 
Perce stood beside the truck and wet the ground while Gay waited 
for him. Then Perce got into the cab and they drove ofï. 

Perce agreed to corne back this afternoon with Gay in the other 
truck and load the horses, although both of them knew that once 
they got into town they might hâve a drink and time would go by 
and they would wait until morning before making the trip back. 
As they drove across the lakebed in silence they both knew, grad- 
ually, that they would wait until morning because they were tired 
now and would be more tired later. The mare and her coït stood 
between them and the sage désert toward which they were head- 
ing. Perce stared out the window at the mare and he saw that she 
was watching them apprehensively but not in real alarm, and the 
coït was lying upright on the clay, its head nodding slightly as 
though it would soon fall asleep. Perce looked long at the coït as 
they approached and he thought about it waiting there beside the 
mare, unbound and free to go off, and he said to Gay, "Ever hear 
of a coït leave a mare?" 

"Not that young a coït," Gay said. "He ain't goin' nowhere." 
And he glanced to look at Perce. 

They passed the mare and coït and left them behind and Perce 
laid his head back and closed his eyes. His tobacco swelled out his 
left cheek and he let it soak there. 

Now the truck left the clay lakebed and it pitched and rolled 
on the sage désert. They would return to their camp and pick up 
their bedrolls and cooking implements, and then drive to the road 
which was almost fifteen miles beyond the camp across the désert. 

"Think Fil go back to Roslyn's tonight," Gay said. 

"Okay," Perce said and did not open his eyes. 

294 



THE MISFITS 

"We can pick them up in the morning and then take you down 
to Largo." 

"Okay," Perce said. 

Gay thought about Roslyn. She would probably razz them 
about ail the work they had done for a few dollars, saying they 
were too dumb to figure in their labor time and other hidden ex- 
penses. To hear her sometimes they hadn't made any profit at ail. 
"Roslyn going to feel sorry for the coït," Gay said, "so might as 
well not mention it." 

Perce opened his eyes, and with his head resting on the back of 
the seat he looked ont the window at the mountains. "Hell, she 
feeds that dog of hers canned dogfood, doesn't she?" 

Gay felt doser to Perce again and he smiled. "Sure does." 

"Well what's she think is in the can?" 

"She knows what's in the can." 

"There's wild horses in the can," Perce said. 

They drove in silence for a while. Then Perce said, "That's what 
beats me." 

After a few moments Gay said, "You comin' back to Roslyn's 
with me or you gonna stay in town?" 

"Fd just as soon go back with you." 

"Okay," Gay said. He felt good about going into her cabin 
now. There would be her books on the shelves he had built for her, 
and they would hâve some drinks, and Perce would fall asleep on 
the couch and they would go into the bedroom together. He liked 
to come back to her after he had worked, more than when he had 
only driven her hère and there or just stayed around her place. He 
liked his own money in his pocket. And he tried harder to visualize 
how it would be with her and he thought of himself being forty- 
six soon, and then nearing fifty. She would go back East one day, 
he knew, maybe this year maybe next. He wondered again when 
he would begin turning gray and how he would look with gray 
hair and he set his jaw against the idea of himself gray and an old 
man and the picture of it in his mind. 

Perce spoke, sitting up in his seat. "I want to phone my mother. 
Damn, I haven't calied her ail year." He stared out the window 
at the mountains. He had the memory of how the coït looked and 
he wished it would be gone when they returned in the morning. 
Then he said, "I got to get to Largo tomorrow and register." 

295 



ARTHUR MILLER 

"We'll go," Gay said. 

"I could use a good win," he said. He thought of five hundred 
dollars now, and of the many times he had won five hundred dol- 
lars. "You know something, Gay?" he said. 

"Huh?" 

"Fm never goin' to amount to a damn thing." Then he laughed. 
He was hungry and he laughed without restraint for a moment 
and then laid his head back and closed his eyes. 

"I told you that first time I met you, didn't I?" Gay grinned. 
He felt a bravery between them now, and he saw that Perce was 
grinning with a certain gaiety. He felt the mood coming on for 
some drinks at Roslyn's. Then Perce spoke. 

"That coït won't bring two dollars anyway. What you say 
we just left him there?" 

"Why you know what he'd do?" Gay said. "He'd just foUow 
the truck right into town." 

"I guess he would at that," Perce said. He spat a stream of juice 
out the window. 

They reached the camp in twenty minutes and loaded the three 
bedrolls and the aluminum grub box in the truck and drove on 
toward Bowie. After they had driven for fifteen minutes without 
speaking, Gay said he wanted to go North very soon for the hun- 
dreds of horses that were supposed to be in the mountains there. 
But Perce Howland had fallen fast asleep beside him. Gay wanted 
to talk about that expédition because as they neared Bowie he 
began to visualize Roslyn razzing them again, and it was clear to 
him that he had somehow failed to settle anything for himself; he 
had put in three days for thirty-five dollars and there would be no 
way to explain it so it made sensé and it would be embarrassing. 
And yet he knew that it had ail been the way it ought to be even 
if he could never explain it to her or anyone else. He reached out 
and nudged Perce, who opened his eyes and lolled his head over 
to face him. "You comin' up to Thighbone with me, ain't you?" 

"Okay," Perce said, and went back to sleep. 

Gay felt more peaceful now that the younger man would not 
be leaving him. He drove in contentment. 

The Sun shone hot on the beige plain ail day. Neither fly nor 
bug nor snake ventured out on the waste to molest the four horses 
tethered there, or the coït. They had run nearly two hours at a 

296 



THE MISFITS 

gallop and as the afternoon settled upon them they pawed the 
hard ground for water, but there was none. Toward evening the 
wind came up and they backed into it and faced the mountains 
from which they had corne. From time to time the stalKon caught 
the smell of the pastures up there and he started to walk toward 
the vaulted fields in which he had grazed, but the tire bent his neck 
around and after a few steps he would turn to face it and leap into 
the air with his forelegs striking at the sky and then he would 
corne down and be still again. With the deep blue darkness the 
wind blew faster, tossing their mânes and flinging their long tails 
in between their legs. The cold of night raised the coït onto its 
legs and it stood close to the mare for warmth. Facing the southern 
range Rvq horses blinked under the green glow of the risen moon 
and they closed their eyes and slept. The coït settled again on the 
hard ground and lay under the mare. In the high hollows of the 
mountains the grass they had cropped this morning straightened 
in the darkness. On the lusher swards which were still damp with 
the rains of spring their hoofprints had begun to disappear. When 
the iirst pink glow of another morning lit the sky, the coït stood 
up and as it had always done at dawn it walked waywardly for 
water. The mare shifted and her bone hoofs ticked the clay. The 
coït turned its head and returned to her and stood at her side with 
vacant eye, its nostrils snifEng the warming air. 



297 



Saul Bdlow 



LEAVING THE YELLOW HOUSE 



Although he has published only a very few books, Saul Bellow is 
generally considered one of America's most important writers of 
fiction. His first two novels, The Dangling Man (1944) and The 
Victim (1947), had an admiring but small audience; and it was not 
until his third novel, The Adventures of Augie March (1953), re- 
ceived the National Book Award as "the most distinguished work of 
fiction published in 1953" that Bellow found a readership consonant 
with his réputation. In 1956 his celebrated short novella Seize the Day 
appeared, first in Partisan Review and then in a collection of his short 
stories. 

"Leaving the Yellow House" was his first major pièce of fiction 
to appear after Seize the Day, which it much resembles in length and 
thème, Saul Bellow had spent some months in the West at the same 
time Arthur Miller was there (see page 267). Both writers (who 
knew each other) reacted to the expérience by writing their first 
Western — unusual Westerns, to say the least — and Esquire, which 
hadn't bought a Western in years, published them both: Miller's "The 
Misfits" in October 1957, and Bellow's "Leaving the Yellow House" 
three months later, in January of 1958. The stories difîer interestingly, 
each being very characteristic of its author's methods and préoccu- 
pations in form and content. 



THE NEIGHBORS THERE WERE IN ALL SIX WHITE PEOPLE WHO LIVED 

at Sego Désert Lake — told one another that old Hattie could no 
longer make it alone. The désert life, even with a forced-air fur- 
nace in the house and butane gas brought from town in a truck, was 
still too difîicult for her. There were older women in the county. 
Twenty miles away was Amy Walters, the gold miner's widow. 
But she was a hardier old girl. Every day of the year she took a 
bath in the lake. And Amy was crazy about money and knew how 
to manage it, as Hattie did not. Hattie was not exactly a drunkard, 
but she hit the bottle pretty hard, and now she was in trouble and 

298 



LEAVING THE YELLOW HOUSE 

there was a limit to the help she could expect from even the best 
of neighbors. 

They were fond of her, though. You couldn't help being fond 
of Hattie. She was big and cheerful, puffy, comic, boastful, with a 
big round back and stifî, rather long legs. Before the century began 
she had graduated from fînishing school and studied the organ in 
Paris. But now she didn't know a note from a skillet; she had tan- 
trums when she played canasta. And ail that remained of her fine 
fair hair was frizzled along her forehead in small grey curls. Her 
forehead was not much wrinkled, but the skin was bluish, the color 
of skim milk. She walked with long strides in spite of the heaviness 
of her bips, pushing on, round-backed, with her shoulders and 
showing the flat rubber bottoms of her shoes. 

Once a week, in the same cheerful, plugging but absent way, 
she took off her short skirt and the dirty aviator's jacket with the 
wool collar and put on a girdle, a dress and high-heeled shoes. 
When she stood on thèse heels her fat old body trembled. She wore 
a big brown Rembrandt-like tam with a ten-cent-store brooch, 
eyelike, carefully centered. She drew a straight line with lipstick on 
her mouth, leaving part of the upper lip pale. At the wheel of her 
old turret-shaped car, she drove, seemingly methodical but speed- 
ing dangerously, across forty miles of mountainous désert to buy 
frozen méat pies and whiskey. She went to the Laundromat and 
the hairdresser, and then had lunch with two Martinis at the Ar- 
lington. Afterwards she would often visit Marian Nabot's Silver- 
mine Hôtel at Miller Street near skid row and pass the rest of the 
day gossiping and drinking with her cronies, old divorcées like her- 
self who had settled in the West. Hattie never gambled any more 
and she didn't care for the movies, and at five o'clock she drove 
back at the same speed, calmly, partly blinded by the smoke of her 
cigarette. She was a tough-looking smoker. The fixed cigarette 
gave her a watering eye. 

The Rolfes and the Paces were her only white neighbors at Sego 
Désert Lake. There was Sam Jervis too, but he was only an old 
gandy walker who did odd jobs in her garden, and she did not 
count him. Nor did she count among her neighbors Darly, the 
dudes' cowboy who worked for the Paces, nor Swede, the teleg- 
rapher. Pace had a guest ranch, and Rolfe and his wife were rich 
and had retired. Thus there were three good houses at the lake, 

299 



SAUL BELLOW 

Hattie's yellow house, Pace's and the Rolfes'. AU the rest of the 
population — Sam, Swede, Watchtah the section foreman, and the 
Mexicans and Indians and Negroes — lived in shacks and boxcars. 
You could count ail the trees in a minute's time: cottonwoods and 
box elders. Ail the rest, down to the shores, was sagebrush and 
juniper. The lake was what remained of an old sea that had covered 
the volcanic mountains. To the north there were some tungsten 
mines; to the south, fifteen miles, was an Indian village built of 
railroad ties. 

In this barren place Hattie had lived for more than twenty years. 
Her first summer was spent not in a house but in an Indian wikiup 
on the shore. She used to say that she had watched the stars from 
this almost roofless shelter. After her divorce she took up with a 
cowboy named Wicks. Neither of them had any money — it was 
the Dépression — and they had lived on the range, trapping coyotes 
for a living. Once a month they would come into town and rent a 
room and go on a bender. Hattie told this sadly, but also gloat- 
ingly, and with many trimmings. A thing no sooner happened to 
her than it was transformed into something else. "We were caught 
in a storm," she said, "and we rode hard, down to the lake and 
knocked on the door of the yellow house" — now her house. "Alice 
Parmenter took us in and let us sleep on the floor." What had 
actually happened was that the wind was blowing — there had been 
no storm — and they were not far away from the house anyway; 
and Alice Parmenter, who knew that Hattie and Wicks were not 
married, offered them separate beds; but Hattie, swaggering, had 
said in a loud voice, "Why get two sets of sheets dirty?" And she 
and her cowboy had slept in Alice's double bed while Alice had 
taken the sofa. 

Now Wicks was gone. There was never anybody like him in the 
sack; he was brought up in a whorehouse and the girls taught him 
every thing, said Hattie. She didn't really understand what she was 
saying, but believed that she was being Western, and more than 
any thing else she wanted to be thought of as a rough, expérience d 
woman of the West. Still, she was a lady, too. She had good silver 
and good china and engraved stationery, but she kept canned beans 
and A-i sauce and tunafish and bottles of catsup and fruit salad 
on the library shelves of her living room. On the night table was 
the Bible her pious brother Angus — her other brother was a heller 

300 



LEAVING THE YELLOW HOUSE 

— had given her; but behind the little cabinet door was a bottle of 
bourbon. When she awoke in the night she tippled herself back to 
sleep. In the glove compartment of her old car she kept little sam- 
ple bottles for emergencies on the road. Old Darly found them 
after her accident. 

The accident did not happen far ont in the désert as she had 
always feared, but near her home. She had had a few Martinis with 
the Rolfes one evening and as she was driving home over the rail- 
road Crossing she lost control of the car and drove ojfî the crossing 
onto the tracks. The explanation she gave was that she had sneezed, 
and the sneeze had blinded her and made her twist the wheel. The 
motor was killed and ail four wheels of the car sat smack on the 
rails. Hattie crept down from the door, high ofî the roadbed. A 
great fear took hold of her — for the car, for the future, and not 
only for the future but for the past — and she began to hurry on 
stiff legs through the sagebrush to Pace's ranch. 

Now the Paces were away on a hunting trip and had left old 
Darly in charge; he was tending bar in the old cabin that went 
back to the days of the pony express when Hattie burst in. There 
were two customers, a tungsten miner and his girl. 

"Darly, Vm in trouble. Help me. Fve had an accident," said 
Hattie. 

How the face of a man will alter when a woman has bad news 
to tell him! It happened now to lean old Darly; his eyes went flat 
and looked unwilling, his jaw moved in and out, his wrinkled 
cheeks began to flush, and he said, "What's the matter — what's 
happened to you now?" 

"Fm stuck on the tracks. I sneezed. I lost control of the car. Tow 
me ofï, Darly, with the pickup before the train comes." 

Darly threw down his towel and stamped his high-heeled boots 
with anger. "Now what hâve you gone and done?" he said. "I told 
you to stay home after dark." 

"Where's Face? Ring the fîre bell and fetch Face." 

"There's nobody on the property but me," said the lean old man. 
"And Fm not supposed to close the bar and you know it as well 
as I do." 

"Please, Darly. I can't leave my car on the tracks." 

"Too bad!" he said. Nevertheless he moved from behind the bar. 
"How did you say it happened?" 

301 



SAUL BELLOW 

"I told you, I sneezed," said Hattie. 

Everyone, as she later told it, was as drunk as sixteen thousand 
dollars: Darly, the miner and the miner 's girl. 

Darly was limping as he locked the door of the bar. A year be- 
fore, a kick from one of Pace's mares had broken his ribs as he 
was loading her into the trailer, and he hadn't recovered from it. 
He was too old. But he dissembled the pain. The high-heeled nar- 
row boots helped, and his painful bending looked like the ordinary 
stooping posture of a cowboy on the ground. However, Darly was 
not a genuine cowboy, like Pace who had grown up in the saddle. 
He was a late-comer from the East and until the âge of forty had 
never been on horseback. In this respect he and Hattie were alike. 
They were not the Westerners they seemed to be. 

Hattie hurried after him through the ranch yard. 

"Damn you!" he said to her. "I got thirty bucks out of that 
sucker and I would hâve skinned him out of his whole pay check if 
you minded your business. Pace is going to be sore as hell." 

"You've got to help me. We're neighbors," said Hattie. 

"You're not fit to be living out hère. You can't do it any more. 
Besides, you're swacked ail the time." 

Hattie couldn't afford to talk back to him. The thought of her 
car on the tracks made her frantic. If a freight came now and 
smashed it, her life at Sego Désert Lake would be finished. And 
where would she go then? She was not fit to live in this place. She 
had never made the grade at ail; she only seemed to hâve made it. 
And Darly — why did he say such hurtful things to her? Because 
he himself was sixty-eight years old, and he had no other place to 
go, either; he took bad treatment from Pace besides. Darly stayed 
because his only alternative was to go to the soldiers' home. More- 
over, the dude women would crawl into his sack. They wanted a 
cowboy and they thought he was one. Why, he couldn't even 
raise himself out of his bunk in the morning. And where else would 
he get women? "After the season," she wanted to say to him, "you 
always hâve to go to the Vétérans' Hospital to get yourself fixed 
up again." But she didn't dare ofïend him now. 

The moon was due to rise. It appeared as they drove over the 
ungraded dirt road toward the crossing where Hattie's turret- 
shaped car was sitting on the rails. At great speed Darly wheeled 

302 



LEAVING THE YELLOW HOUSE 

the pickup around, spraying dirt on the miner and his girl who had 
followed in their car. 

"You get behind the wheel and steer," Darly told Hattie. 

She climbed into the seat. Waiting at the wheel she lifted up her 
face and said, "Please, God, I didn't bend the axle or crack the 
oil pan." 

When Darly crawled under the bumper of Hattie's car the pain 
in his ribs suddenly eut ofï his breath, so instead of doubling the 
tow chain he fastened it at full length. He rose and trotted back to 
the truck on the narrow boots. Motion seemed the only remedy for 
the pain; not even booze did the trick any more. He put the pickup 
into towing gear and began to pull. One side of Hattie's car 
dropped into the roadbed with a heave of springs. She sat with a 
stormy, frightened, conscience-stricken face, racing the motor un- 
til she flooded it. 

The tungsten miner yelled, "Your chain's too long." 

Hattie was raised high in the air by the pitch of the wheels. She 
had to roll down the window to let herself out because the door 
handle had been jammed from the inside for years. Hattie struggled 
out on the uplifted side crying, "I better call the Swede. I better 
hâve him signal. There's a train due." 

"Go on, then," said Darly. "You're no good hère." 

"Darly, be careful with my car. Be careful." 

The ancient sea bed at this place was flat and low and the lights 
of her car and of the truck and of the tungsten miner's Chevrolet 
were bright and big at twenty miles. Hattie was too frightened to 
think of this. Ail she could think was that she was a procrastinating 
old woman; she had lived by delays; she had meant to stop drink- 
ing, she had put off the time, and now she had smashed her car — a 
terrible end, a terrible judgment on her. She got to the ground 
and, drawing up her skirt, she started to get over the tow chain. 
To prove that the chain didn't hâve to be shortened, and to get 
the whole thing over with, Darly threw the pickup forward again. 
The chain jerked up and struck Hattie in the knee and she fell 
forward and broke her arm. 

She cried, "Darly, Darly, ï'm hurt. I fell." 

"The old lady tripped on the chain," said the miner. "Back up 
hère and Fil double it for you. You're getting nowheres." 

Drunkenly the miner lay down on his back in the dark, soft red 

303 



SAUL BELLOW 

cinders of the roadbed. Darly had backed up to slacken the chain. 

Darly hurt the miner, too. He tore some skin from his iîngers by 
racing ahead before the chain was secure. Uncomplainingly the 
miner wrapped his hand in his shirttail saying, "She'U do it now." 
The old car came down from the tracks and stood on the shoulder 
of the road. 

"There's your goddam car," said Darly to Hattie. 

"Is it ail right?" she said. Her left side was covered with dirt, 
but she managed to pick herself up and stand, round-backed and 
heavy, on her stiiï legs. "Fm hurt, Darly." She tried to convince 
him of it. 

"Hell if you are," he said. He believed she was putting on an act 
to escape blâme. The pain in his ribs made him especially impatient 
with her. "Christ, if you can't look after yourself any more you've 
got no business out hère." 

"You're old yourself," she said. "Look what you did to me. You 
can't hold your liquor." 

This ofîended him greatly. He said, "Fil take you to the Rolfes. 
They let you tie this on in the first place, so let them worry about 
you. Fm tired of your bunk, Hattie." 

He speeded up. Chains, spade and crowbar clashed on the sides 
of the truck. She was frightened and held her arm and cried. Rolfe's 
dogs jumped at her to lick her when she went through the gâte. 
She shrank from them crying, "Down, down." 

"Darly," she cried in the darkness, "take care of my car. Don't 
leave it standing there on the road. Darly, take care of it, please." 

But Darly in his ten-gallon hat, his chin-bent face wrinkled, 
small and angry, a furious pain in his ribs, tore away at high speed. 

"Oh, God, what will I do," she said. 

The Rolfes were having a last drink before dinner, sitting at 
their fire of pitchy railroad ties, when Hattie opened the door. Her 
knee was bleeding, her eyes were tiny with shock, her face grey 
with dust. 

"Fm hurt," she said desperately. "I had an accident. I sneezed 
and lost control of the wheel. Jerry, look after the car. It's on the 
road." 

They bandaged her knee and took her home and put her to bed. 
Helen Rolfe wrapped a heating pad around her arm. 

304 



LEAVING THE YELLOW HOUSE 

*'I can't hâve the pad," Hattie complained. "The switch goes on 
and off and every time it does it starts my generator and uses up 
the gas." 

"Ah, now, Hattie," Rolfe said, "this is not the time to be stingy. 
We'll take you to town in the morning and hâve you looked over. 
Helen will phone Doctor Stroud." 

Hattie wanted to say, "Stingy! Why you're the stingy ones. I 
Just haven't got anything. You and Helen are ready to hit each 
other over two bits in canasta." But the Rolfes were good to her; 
they were her only real friends hère. Darly would hâve let her lie 
in the yard ail night, and Pace would sell her to the bone man if 
he had an offer. 

So she didn't talk back to the Rolfes, but as soon as they left the 
yellow house and walked through the super-clear moonlight un- 
der the great skirt of branch shadows to their new car, Hattie 
turned off the switch and the heavy swirling and battering of the 
generator stopped. Presently she began to hâve her fîrst real taste 
of the pain in her arm, and she sat rigid and warmed the injured 
place with her hand. It seemed to her that she could feel the bone. 
Before leaving, Helen Rolfe had thrown over her a comforter that 
had belonged to Hattie's dead friend India, from whom she had 
inherited the small house and everything in it. Had the comforter 
lain on India's bed the night she died? Hattie tried to remember, 
but her thoughts were mixed up. She was fairly sure the death-bed 
pillow was in the loft, and she believed she had put the rest of the 
bedding in a trunk. Then how had this comforter got out? She 
couldn't do anything about it now but draw it away from contact 
with her skin. It kept her legs warm; this she accepted, but she 
didn't want it any nearer. 

More and more Hattie saw her own life as though from birth to 
the présent every moment had been filmed. Her fancy was that 
when she died she would see the film shown. Then she would 
know how she appeared from the back, watering the plants, in the 
bathroom, asleep, playing the organ, embracing — everything, even 
tonight, in pain, almost the last pain, perhaps, for she couldn't take 
much more. How many more turns had life to show her yet? There 
couldn't be a lot. To lie awake and think such thoughts was the 
worst thing in the world. Better death than insomnia. Hattie not 
only loved sleep, she believed in it. 

305 



SAUL BELLOW 

The fîrst attempt to set the bone was not successful. "Look what 
they've done to me," said Hattie and showed the discolored skin 
on her breast. After the second opération her mind wandered. The 
sides of her bed had to be raised, for in her deUrium she roamed 
the wards. She cried at the nurses when they shut her in, "You 
can't make people prisoners in a democracy without a trial." She 
cursed them fiercely. 

For several weeks her mind was not clear. Asleep, her face was 
hfeless; her cheeks were puffed out and her mouth, no longer wide 
and grinning, was drawn round and small. Helen sighed when she 
saw her. 

''Shall we get in touch with her family?" she asked the doctor. 
"She has a brother in Maine who is very strait-laced. And another 
one down in Mexico, even older than Hattie." 

"No younger relations?" asked the doctor. His skin was white 
and thick. He had chestnut hair, abundant but very dry. He some- 
times explained to his patients, "I had a tropical disease during the 
war." 

"Cousins' children," said Helen. She tried to think who would 
be called to her own bedside. Rolfe would see that she was cared 
for. He would hire a nurse. Hattie could not afîord one. She had 
already gone beyond her means. A trust company in Philadelphia 
paid her eighty dollars a month. She had a small bank account. 

"I suppose it will be up to us to get her out of hock," said Rolfe. 
"Unless the brother down in Mexico comes across." 

în the end, no relations had to be called. Hattie began to re~ 
cover. x\t last she could recognize some of her friends, though her 
mind was still in disorder; much that had happened she couldn't 
recall. 

"How much blood did they hâve to give me," she kept asking. 
"I seem to remember iîve, six, eight différent times. Daylight, elec- 
tric light. ..." She tried to smile, but she couldn't make a pleas- 
ant face as yet. "How am î going to pay?" she said. "At twenty- 
fîve bucks a quart. My little bit of money is just about wiped out." 

Blood became her constant topic, her préoccupation. She told 
everyone who came to see her, " — hâve to replace ail that blood. 
They poured gallons of the stufî into me. I hope it was ail good." 

306 



LEAVING THE YELLOW HOUSE 

And, though very weak, she began to grin and laiigh again. There 
was more of a hiss in her laughter than formerly; the illness had 
aiïected her chest. 

"No cigarettes, no booze," the doctor told Helen. 

"Doctor," Helen asked him, "do you expect her to change?" 

"Ail the same, I am obliged to say it." 

"Life may not be much of a temptation to her," said Helen. 

Her husband laughed. When his laughter was intense it blinded 
one of his eyes and his short Irish face turned red except for the 
bridge of his small, sharp nose where the skin grew white. "Hattie's 
like me," he said. "She'll be in business till she's cleaned out. And 
if Sego Lake was ail whiskey she'd use her last strength to knock 
her old yellow house down and build a raft of it. So why talk 
tempérance to her now?" 

Hattie recognized the similarity between them. When he came 
to see her she said, "Jerry, you're the only one I can really talk to 
about my troubles. What am I going to do for money? I hâve 
Hotchkiss Insurance. I paid eight dollars a month." 

"That won't do you much good, Hat. No Blue Cross?" 

"I let it drop ten years ago. Maybe I could sell some of my 
valuables." 

"What hâve you got?" he said. His eye began to droop with 
laughter. 

"Why," she said defiantly, "there's plenty. First there's the 
beautiful, precious Persian rug that India left me." 

"Coals from the fireplace hâve been burning it for years, Hat!" 

"The rug is in perfect condition," she said with an angry sway 
of her shoulders. "A beautiful object like that never loses its value. 
And the oak table from the Spanish monastery is three hundred 
years old." 

"With luck you could get twenty bucks for it. It would cost 
fîfty to haul it out of hère. It's the house you ought to sell." 

"The house?" she said. Yes, that had been in her mind. "Fd hâve 
to get twenty thousand for it." 

"Eight is a fair price." 

"Fifteen. . . ." She was ofîended, and her voice recovered its 
strength. "India put eight into it in two years. And don't forget 
that Sego Lake is one of the most beautiful places in the world." 

307 



SAUL BELLOW 

"But where is it? Five hundred and some miles to San Francisco 
and two hundred to Sait Lake City. Who wants to live way out 
hère in Utah but a few eccentrics like you and India and me?" 

"There are things you can't put a price tag on. Beautiful things." 

"Oh, bull, Hattie! You don't know what they are any more 
than I do. I live hère because it figures for me, and you because 
India left you the house. And just in the nick of time, too. With- 
out it you wouldn't hâve had a pot of your own." 

His words offended Hattie; more than that, they frightened her. 
She vv^as silent and then grew thoughtful, for she was fond of Jerry 
Rolfe and he of her. He had good sensé and moreover he only 
spoke her own thoughts. He spoke no more than the truth about 
India's death and the house. But she told herself, He doesn^t know 
everything. You^d hâve to pay a San Francisco architect ten thou- 
sand just to think of such a house. Before he drew a Une. 

"Jerry," the old woman said, "what am I going to do about 
replacing the blood in the blood bank?" 

"Do you want a quart from me, Hat?" His eye began to fall 
shut. 

"You won't do. You had that tumor, two years ago. I think 
Darly ought to give some." 

"The old man?" Rolfe laughed at her. "You want to kill him?" 

"Why," said Hattie with anger, lifting up her massive face with 
its fringe of curls which had become frayed by fever and perspira- 
tion; at the back of her head the hair had knotted and matted so 
that it had to be shaved, "he almost killed me. It's his fault that 
Fm in this condition. He must hâve blood in him. He runs after 
ail the chicks — ail of them — young and old." 

"Come, you were drunk, too," said Rolfe. 

"Fve driven drunk for forty years. It was the sneeze. Oh, Jerry, 
I feel wrung out," said Hattie, haggard, sitting forward in bed. But 
her face was cleft by her nonsensically happy grin. She was not 
one to be misérable for long; she had the expression of a perennial 
survivor. 

Every other day she went to the therapist. The young woman 
worked her arm for her; it was a pleasure and a comfort to Hattie, 
who would hâve been glad to leave the whole cure to her. How- 
ever, she was given other exercises to do, and thèse were not so 
easy. They rigged a pulley for her and Hattie had to hold both 

308 



LEAVING THE YELLOW HOUSE 

ends of a rope and saw it back and forth through the scraping little 
wheel. She bent heavily from the bips and coughed over her ciga- 
rette. But the most important exercise of ail she shirked. This re- 
quired her to put the flat of her hand to the wall at the level of 
her bips and, by working her fingertips slowly, to make the hand 
ascend to the height of her shoulder. That was painful; she often 
forgot to do it, although the doctor warned her, "Hattie, you don't 
want adhésions, do you?" 

A light of despair crossed Hattie's eyes. Then she said, "Oh, Dr. 
Stroud, buy my bouse from me." 

"Fm a bacbelor. What would I do with a bouse?" 

"I know just the girl for you — my cousin's daughter. Perfectly 
charming and very brainy. Just about got her Ph.D." 

"You must get quite a few proposais yourself," said the doctor. 

"From crazy désert rats. They chase me. But," she said, "after I 
pay my bills FU be in pretty punk shape. If at least I could replace 
that blood in the blood bank Fd feel easier." 

"If you don't do as the therapist tells you, Hattie, you'll need 
another opération. Do you know what adhésions are?" 

She knew. But Flattie thought, How long must I go on takïng 
care of myselj? It made her angry to hear him speak of another 
opération. She had a moment of panic, but she veiled it from him. 
With him, this young man whose skin was already as thick as 
buttermilk and whose chestnut hair was as dry as death, she always 
assumed the part of a small child. She said, "Yes, doctor." But her 
heart was in a fury. 

Night and day, however, she repeated, "I was in the Valley of 
the Shadow. But Fm alive." She was weak, she was old, she couldn't 
foUow a train of thought very easily, she felt faint in the head. But 
she was still hère; hère was her body, it filled space, a great body. 
And though she had worries and perplexities, and once in a while 
her arm felt as though it was about to give her the last stab of ail; 
and though her hair was scrappy and old, like onion roots, and 
scattered like nothing under the comb, yet she sat and amused her- 
self with visitors; her great grin split her face; her heart warmed 
with every kind word. 

And she thought, "People will help me out. It ne ver did me any 
good to worry. At the last minute something turned up, when I 
wasn't looking for it. Marian loves me. Flelen and Jerry love me. 

309 



SAUL BELLOW 

Half Pint loves me. They would never let me go to the ground. 
And I love them. If it were the other way around, Fd never let 
them go down." 

Above a horizon in a baggy vastness which Hattie by herself oc- 
casionally visited, the features of India, or her shade, sometimes 
rose. She was indignant and scolding. Not mean. Not really mean. 
Few people had ever been really mean to Hattie. But India was an- 
noyed with her. "The garden is going to hell, Hattie," she said. 
"Those lilac bushes are ail shriveled." 

"But what can I do? The hose is rotten. It broke. It won't reach." 

"Then dig a trench," said the phantom of India. "Hâve old Sam 
dig a trench. But save the bushes." 

Am 1 thy servant still? said Hattie to herself. No^ she thought, 
let the dead bury their dead. 

But she didn't defy India now any more than she had done v^hen 
they lived together. Hattie was supposed to keep India off the bottle, 
but often both of them began to get drunk after breakfast. They 
forgot to dress, and in their slips the two of them wandered drunk- 
enly around the house and blundered into each other, and they 
were in despair at having been so weak. Late in the afternoon they 
would be sitting in the living room, waiting for the sun to set. It 
shrank, burning itself out on the crumbling edges of the mountains. 
When the sun passed, the fury of the daylight ended and the moun- 
tain surfaces were more blue, broken, like clifîs of coal. They no 
longer suggested faces. The east began to look simple, and the lake 
less inhuman and haughty. At last India would say, "Hattie — it's 
time for the lights." And Hattie would pull the switch chains of 
the lamps, several of them, to give the generator a good shove. She 
would turn on some of the wobbling eighteenth-century-style 
lamps whose shades stood out from their slender bodies like dragon- 
Aies' wings. The little engine in the shed would shuffle, then spit, 
then charge and bang, and the first weak light would rise unevenly 
in the bulbs. 

^'HettieT cried India. After she drank she was pénitent, but her 
pénitence too was a hardship to Hattie, and the worse her temper 
the more English her accent became. '^Where the hell ah y ou Het- 
tîer After India's death Hattie found some poems she had written 
in which she, Hattie, was afïectionately and even touchingly men- 
tioned. But Hattie's interest in ideas was very small^ whereas India 

310 



LEAVING THE YELLOW HOUSE 

had been ail over the world and was used to brilliant society. India 
wanted her to discoss Eastern religion, Bergson and Proust, and 
Hattie had no head for this, and so India blamed her drinking on 
Hattie. "I can't talk to you," she would say. "And Fm hère because 
Fm not fit to be anywhere else. I can't live in New York any more. 
It's too dangerous for a woman my âge to be drunk in the street at 
night." 

And Hattie, talking to her Western friends about India, would 
say, "She is a lady" (implying that they made a pair). "She is a 
créative person" (this was why they found each other so con- 
genial). "But helpless? Completely. Why she can't even get her 
own girdle on." 

"Hettie/ corne hère. Het-tïe! Do y ou know njohat sloth is?^'' 

Undressed, India sat on her bed and with the cigarette in her 
drunken, wrinkled, ringed hand she burned holes in the blankets. 
On Hattie's pride she left many small scars, too. She treated her like 
a servant. 

Weeping, India begged her afterward to forgive her. ""Hattie^ 
please, don^t condemn me in your heart. Forgive me^ dear, I know 
I am bad. But I hurt myself more in my evil than I hurt youP 

Hattie would keep a stiff bearing. She would lift up her face 
with its incurved nose and pufîy eyes, and say, "I am a Christian 
person. I never bear a grudge." And by repeating this she actually 
brought herself to forgive India. 

But of course she had no husband, no child, no skill, no savings. 
And what she would hâve done if India had not died and left her 
the yellow house, nobody knows. 

Jerry Rolfe said privately to Marian, "Hattie can't do anything 
for herself. If I hadn't been around during the '44 blizzard she and 
India both would hâve starved. She's always been careless and lazy 
and now she can't even chase a cow out of her yard. She's too 
feeble. The thing for her to do is go East to her brother. Hattie 
would hâve ended at the poor farm if it hadn't been for India. But 
India should hâve left her something besides the house. Some dough. 
India didn't use her head." 

When Hattie returned to the lake she stayed with the Rolfes. 
"Well, old shellback," said Jerry, "there's a little more life in you 



now." 



311 



SAUL BELLOW 

Indeed, with joyous eyes, the cigarette in her mouth and her hair 
newly frizzed and overhanging her forehead, she seemed to hâve 
triumphed again. She was pale, but she grinned, she chuckled, and 
she held a bourbon Old-Fashioned with a cherry and a sHce of 
orange in it. She was on rations; the Rolfes allowed her two a day. 
Her back, Helen noted, was more bent than before. Her knees 
went outward a little weakly; her feet, however, came close to- 
gether at the ankles. 

"Oh, Helen dear and Jerry dear, I am so thankful, so glad to be 
back at the lake. I can look after my place again, and Fm hère to 
see the spring. It's more gorgeous than ever." 

Heavy rains had fallen while Hattie was away. The sego lilies, 
Avhich bloomed only after a wet winter, came up from the loose 
dust, especially around the mari pit; but even on the burnt granité 
they seemed to grow. Désert peach was beginning to appear and 
in Hattie's yard the rosebushes were filling out. The roses were 
yellow and abundant, and the odor they gave ofï was like that of 
damp tea leaves. 

"Before it gets hot enough for the rattlesnakes," said Hattie to 
Helen, "we ought to drive up to Marky's ranch to eut watercress." 

Hattie was going to attend to lots of things, but the beat came 
early that year and, as there was no télévision to keep her awake, 
she slept most of the day. She was now able to dress herself , though 
there was little more that she could do. Sam Jervis rigged the pulley 
for her on the porch and she remembered once in a while to use it. 
Mornings when she had her strength she rambled over to her own 
house, examining things, behaving importantly and giving orders to 
Sam Jervis and Wanda Gingham. At ninety, Wanda, a Shoshone, 
was still an excellent seamstress and housecleaner. 

Hattie looked over the car, which was parked under a cotton- 
Avood tree. She tested the engine. Yes, the old pot would still go. 
Proudly, happily, she listened to the noise of tappets; the dry old 
pipe shook as the smoke went out at the rear. She tried to work the 
shift, turn the wheel. That, as yet, she couldn't do. But it would 
come soon, she was confident. 

At the back of the house the soil had caved in a little over the 
cesspool and a few of the old railroad ties over the top had rotted. 
Otherwise things were in good shape. Sam had looked after the 
garden. He had fixed a new catch for the gâte after Pace's horses — 

312 



LEAVING THE YELLOW HOUSE 

maybe because he never could aflFord to keep them in hay — had 
broken in and Sam found them grazing and drove them ont. Luck- 
ily they hadn't damaged many of her plants. Hattie felt a moment 
of wild rage against Pace. He had brought the horses into her gar- 
den, she was sure. But her anger didn't last long. It was reabsorbed 
into the feeling of golden pleasure that enveloped her. She had 
little strength, but ail that she had was a pleasure to her. So she 
forgave even Pace, who would hâve liked to do her out of the 
house, who had always used her, embarrassed her, cheated her 
at cards, passed the buck whenever he could. He was a fool about 
horses. They were ruining him. Breeding horses was a millionaire's 
amusement. 

She saw the animais in the distance, feeding. Unsaddled, the 
mares appeared undressed; they reminded her of naked women 
walking with their glossy flanks in the sego lilies which curled on 
the ground. The flowers were yellowish, like winter wool, but 
fragrant; the mares, naked and gentle, walked through them. Their 
strolling, their perfect beauty, the sound of their hoofs on stone 
touched a deep place in Hattie's nature. Her love for horses, birds 
and dogs was well-known. Dogs led the list. And now a pièce eut 
from a green blanket reminded her of Richie. The blanket was one 
he had torn, and she had eut it into strips and placed them under 
the doors to keep out the draughts. In the house she found more 
traces of him: hair he had shed on the furniture. Hattie was going 
to borrow Helen's vacuum cleaner, but there wasn't really enough 
current to make it pull as it should. On the doorknob of India's 
room hung the dog collar. ^ 

Hattie had decided to hâve herself moved into India's bed when 
she lay dying. Why use two beds? A perilous look came into her 
eyes while her lips pressed together forbiddingly. "I follow," she 
said, speaking to India with an inner voice, "so never mind." 
Presently — before long — she would hâve to leave the yellow house 
in her turn. And as she went into the parlor thinking of the will, 
she sighed. Pretty soon she would hâve to attend to it. India's law- 
yer, Claiborne, helped her with such things. She had phoned him 
in town, while she was staying with Marian, and talked matters 
over with him. He had promised to try to sell the house for her. 
Fifteen thousand was her bottom price, she said. If he couldn't find 
a buyer, perhaps he could find a tenant. Two hundred dollars a 

313 



SAUL BELLOW 

month was the rental she set. Rolfe laughed. But Hattie turned to- 
ward him one of those proud, dulled looks she always took on 
when he angered her and said haughtily, "For summer on Sego 
Lake?" 

"You're competing with Pace's ranch." 

"Why, the food is stinking down there. He cheats the dudes," 
said Hattie. "He really cheats them at cards. You'll never catch me 
playing blackjack with him again." 

And what would she do, thought Hattie, if Claiborne could 
neither rent nor sell the house? This question she shook oiî as 
regularly as it returned. / donh hâve to he a burden on anybodjy 
thought Hattie. It's looked bad many a time before, but when push 
cmne to shove^ I made it. Somehov) I got by. But she argued with 
herself . How many time s? Honjo long, O God — an old thing, feeble, 
no use to anyone? Who said she had any right to hold a pièce of 
property? 

She was sitting on her sofa which was very old, India's sofa, 
eight feet long, kidney-shaped, pufîy and bald. An underlying 
pink shone through the green; the upholstered tufts were like the 
pads of dogs' paws; between them rose bunches of hair. Hère Hat- 
tie slouched, resting, with her knees wide apart and a cigarette in 
her mouth, eyes half shut but far-seeing. The mountains seemed 
not fifteen miles but fifteen hundred yards away, the lake a blue 
band; the tea-like odor of the roses, though they were still un- 
opened, was already in the air, for Sam was watering them in the 
beat. Gratefuily Hattie yelled, "Sam!" 

Sam was very old, and ail shanks. His feet looked big. His old rail- 
road jacket was made tight across his back by his stoop. A crooked 
finger with its great broad nail over the mouth of the hose made the 
water spray and sparkle. Happy to see Hattie he turned his long 
jaw, empty of teeth, and his blue eyes, which seemed to penetrate 
his temples with their length (it was his face that turned, not his 
body), and he said, "Oh, there, Hattie. You've made it back today? 
Welcome, Hattie." 

"Hâve a béer, Sam. Come around the back and Fil give you a 
béer." 

She never had Sam come in, owing to his skin disease. There were 
raw patches on his chin and the back of his ears. Hattie feared in- 
fection from his touch. She gave him the béer can, never a glass, 

314 



LEAVING THE YELLOW HOUSE 

and she put on gloves before she used the garden tools. Since he 
would take no money from her — she had to pay Wanda Gingham 
a dollar a day — she got Adarian to find old clothes for him in town 
and she left food for him at the door of the damp-wood-smelling 
boxcar where he lived. 

"How's the old wing, Hat?" he said. 

*'It's coming. l'il be driving again before you know it," she told 
him. "By the first of May Fil be driving again." Every week she 
moved the date forward. "By Décoration Day I expect to be on my 
own again," she said. In mid-June however she was still unable to 
drive. Helen Rolfe said to her, "Hattie, Jerry and I are due in 
Seattle the first week of July." 

*'Why, you never told me that," said Hattie. 

"You don't mean to tell me this is the first you heard of it," said 
Helen. "YouVe known about it from the first — since Christmas." 

It wasn't easy for Hattie to meet her eyes. She presently put her 
head down. Her face became very dry, especially the lips. "Well, 
don't you worry about me. Fil be ail right hère," she said. 

"Who's going to look after you?" said Jerry. He evaded nothing 
himself and tolerated very little évasion in others. Except, as Hattie 
knew, he always indulged her. She couldn't count on her friend 
Half Pint, she couldn't really count on Marian either. Until now, 
this very moment, she had only the Rolfes to turn to. Helen, trying 
to be steady, gazed at her and made sad, involuntary movements with 
her head, sometimes nodding, sometimes seeming as if she disagreed. 
Hattie, with her inner voice, swore at her: Bitch-eyes. I canh win 
because Tm old. Is that fairF And yet she admired Helen's eyes. 
Even the skin about them, slightly wrinkled underneath, was touch- 
ing, beautiful. There was a heaviness in her bust that went, as if by 
attachment, with the heaviness of her eyes. Her head, her hands 
and feet should hâve taken a more slender body. Helen, said Hattie, 
was the nearest thing she had on this earth to a sister. But there was 
no reason to go to Seattle — no genuine business. It was only idle- 
ness, only a holiday. The only reason was Hattie herself ; this was 
their way of telling her that there was a limit to what she could 
expect them to do. Helen's head wavered, but her thoughts were 
steady; she knew what was passing through Hattie's mind. Like 
Hattie, she was an idle woman. Why was her right to idleness 
better? 

315 



SAUL BELLOW 

Because of money? thought Hattie. Because of âge? Because she 
has a husband? Because she had a daughter in Swarthmore Collège? 
But a funny thing occurred to her. Helen disliked being idle, 
whereas she herself never made any bones that an idle life was ail 
she was ever good for. But for her it was uphill, ail the way, because 
when Waggoner divorced her she didn't hâve a cent. She even had 
to support Wicks for seven or eight years. Except with horses, he 
had no sensé. And then she had had to take a ton of dirt from In- 
dia. / am the one, Hattie asserted to herself. / njoould know njohat to 
do with HelefCs advantages. She only suffers from them. And if she 
wants to stop being an idle ivoman why can^t she start with me, her 
neighbor? Her skin, for ail its puffiness, burned with anger. She said 
to Rolfe and Helen: "Don't worry. FU make out by myself. But if 
I hâve to leave the lake you'll be ten times more lonely than before. 
Now Fm going back to my house." 

She lifted up her broad old face and her lips were childlike with 
sufîering. She would never take back what she had said. 

But the trouble was no ordinary trouble. Hattie was herself 
aware that she rambled, forgot names, and answered when no one 
spoke. 

"We can't just take charge of her," Rolfe said. "What's more, 
she ought to be near a doctor. She keeps her shotgun loaded so she 
can fire it if any thing happens to her in the house. But who knows 
what she'U do? I don't believe it was Jacamares who killed that 
Doberman of hers." 

He drove into her yard the day after she returned to her house 
and said, "Fm going into town. I can bring you some chow if you 
like." 

She couldn't afîord to refuse his offer, angry though she was, and 
she said, "Yes, bring me some stuff from the Mountain Street Mar- 
ket. Charge it." She only had some frozen shrimp and a few cans of 
béer in the icebox. When Rolfe had gone she put out the shrimp to 
thaw. 

People really used to stick by one another in the West. Hattie 
now saw herself as one of the pioneers. This modem race had come 
later. After ail, she had lived on the range like an old-timer. Wicks 
had had to shoot their Christmas dinner and she had cooked it — 
venison. He killed it on the réservation, and if the Paiutes had 
caught them there would hâve been hell to pay. 

316 



LEAVING THE YELLOW HOUSE 

The weather was hot, the clouds were heavy and calm in a large 
sky. The horizon was so huge that in it the lake must hâve seemed 
like a saucer of milk. So?ne milkf Hattie thought. Two thousand 
feet deep in the middle, so deep no body could ever be recovered. 
It went around with the currents, and there were rocks Hke eye- 
teeth, and hot springs, and colorless fish at the bottom which were 
never caught. Now that the white pehcans were nesting they pa- 
troUed the rocks for snakes and other tgg thieves. They were so 
big and flew so slow you might imagine they were angels. Hattie 
no longer visited the lake shore; the walk exhausted her. She saved 
her strength to go to Pace's bar in the afternoon. 

She took ofï her shoes and stockings and walked on bare feet 
from one end of her house to the other. On the land side she saw 
Wanda Gingham sitting near the tracks while her great-grandson 
played in the soft red gravel. Wanda wore a large purple shawl 
and her black head was bare. Ail about her was — was nothing, 
Hattie thought; for she had taken a drink, breaking her rule. Noth- 
ing but mountains, thrust out like men's bodies; the sagebrush was 
the hair on their chests. 

The warm wind blew dust from the mari pit. This white powder 
made her sky less blue. On the water side were the pélicans, pure as 
spirits, slow as angels, blessing the air as they flew with great wings. 

Should she or should she not hâve Sam do something about the 
vine on the chimney? Sparrows nested in it, and she was glad of 
that. But ail summer long the king snakes were after them and she 
was afraid to walk in the garden. When the sparrows scratched the 
ground for seed they took a funny bound; they held their legs stifî 
and flung back the dust with both feet. Hattie sat down at her 
old Spanish table, watching them in the cloudy warmth of the day, 
clasping her hands, chuckling and sad. The bushes were crowded 
with yellow roses, half of them now rotted. The lizards scrambled 
from shadow to shadow. The water was smooth as air, gaudy as 
silk. The mountains succumbed, falling asleep in the beat. Drowsy, 
Hattie lay down on her sofa; its pads were like dogs' paws. She 
gave in to sleep and when she woke it was midnight; she did not 
want to alarm the Rolfes by putting on her lights, so took advan- 
tage of the moon to eat a few thawed shrimps and go to the bath- 
room. She undressed and lifted herself into bed and lay there feel- 
ing her sore arm. Now she knew how much she missed her dog. 

317 



SAUL BELLOW 

The whole matter of the dog weighed heavily on her soûl; she came 
close to tears in thinking about him and she went to sleep, op- 
pressed by her secret. 

/ suppose I had better try to pull myself together a Utile ^ thought 
Hattie nervously in the morning. / can^t just sleep my ivay through, 
She knew what her difficulty was. Before any serions question her 
mind gave way; it became diffused. She said to herself, / can see 
brighty but I feel dim. I guess Pm Jïot so lively any more. Maybe Y m 
becomng a lïttle touched in the head, as mother was. But she was 
not so old as her mother was when she did those strange things. At 
eight-five her mother had to be kept from going naked in the street. 
Pm not as bad as that y et, thought Hattie. Thank God. I ivalked 
into the meiUs ivards, but that was when I had a fever, and my 
nightie was on. 

She drank a cup of Nescafé and it strengthened her détermina- 
tion to do something for herself. In ail the world she had only her 
brother Angus to go to. Her brother Will had led a rough life; he 
was an old heller, and now he drove everyone away. He was too 
crabby, thought Hattie. Besides he was angry because she had lived 
so long with Wicks. Angus would forgive her. But then he and his 
wife were not her kind. With them she couldn't drink, she couldn't 
smoke, she had to make herself small-mouthed, and she would hâve 
to wait while they read a chapter of the Bible before breakfast. 
Hattie could not beat to wait for meals. Besides, she had a house of 
her own at last; why should she hâve to leave it? She had never 
owned a thing before. And now she was not allowed to enjoy 
her yellow house. But PU keep it, she said to herself rebelliously. 
/ swear to God PU keep it. Why, î barely just got it. I haven^t had 
time. And she went out on the porch to work the pulley and do 
something about the adhésions in her arm. She was sure now that 
they were there. And what will I do? she cried to herself. What 
will I do? Why did ï ever go to Rolfe^s that night — and why did 
1 lose control on the crossing! She couldn't say now "I sneezed." 
She couldn't even remember what had happened, except that she 
saw the boulders and the twisting blue rails and Darly. It was 
Darly's fault. He was sick and old himself, and couldn't make it. 
He envied her the house, and her woman's peaceful life. Since she 
returned from the hospital he hadn't even come to visit her. He 

318 



LEAVING THE YELLOW HOUSE 

only said, "Hell, l'm sorry for her, but it was her fault." What 
hurt him most was that she said he couldn't hold his liquor. 

Her résolve to pull herself together did not last; she remained the 
same procrastinating old woman. She had a letter to answer from 
Hotchkiss Insurance, and it drifted out of sight. She was going to 
phone Claiborne the lawyer, and it slipped her mind. One morning 
she announced to Helen that she believed she would apply to an 
institution in Los Angeles that took over the property of old people 
and managed it for them. They gave you an apartment right on the 
océan, and your meals and médical care. You had to sign over half 
of your estate. "It's fair enough," said Hattie. "They take a gamble. 
I may live to be a hundred." 

"I wouldn't be surprised," said Helen. 

However, Hattie never got around to sending to Los Angeles for 
the brochure. But Jerry Rolfe took it on himself to write a letter to 
her brother Angus about her condition. And he drove over also 
to hâve a talk with Amy Walters, the gold miner's widow at Fort 
Walters — as the ancient woman called it. One old tar-paper build- 
ing was what she owned, plus the mine shafts, no longer in use 
since the death of her second husband. On a heap of stones near 
the road a crimson sign Fort Walters was placed, and over it a flag- 
pole. The Am.erican flag was raised every day. Amy was working 
in the garden in one of dead BllFs shirts. He had brought water 
down from the mountains for her in a homemade aqueduct so she 
could raise her own peaches and vegetables. 

"Amy," Rolfe said, "Hattie's back from the hospital and living 
ail alone. You hâve no folks and neither has she. Not to beat around 
the bush about it, why don't you live together?" 

Amy's face had great delicacy. Her winter baths in the lake and 
her soups and the waltzes she played for herself alone on the grand 
piano that stood beside her wood stove and the murder stories she 
read till darkness made her go to bed had made her remote. She 
looked délicate, yet her composure couldn't be touched. It was very 
strange. 

"Hattie and me hâve différent habits, Jerry," said Amy. "And 
Hattie wouldn't like my company. I can't drink with her." 

"That's true," said Rolfe, recalling that Hattie referred to Amy as 

319 



SAUL BELLOW 

though she were a ghost. He couldn't speak to Amy of the solitary 
death that was in store for her. There was not a cloud in the arid 
sky today, and there was not a shadow of death on Amy. She was 
tranquil, she seemed to be suppHed with a sort of pure fluid that 
would feed her life slowly for years to corne. 

He said, "Ail kinds of things could happen to a woman like Hat- 
tie in that yellow house, and nobody would know." 

"That's a fact. She doesn't know how to take care of herself." 

"She can't. Her arm hasn't healed." 

Amy didn't say that she was sorry to hear it. In the place of 
those words came a silence which could hâve meant that. Then she 
said, "I might go for a few hours a day, but she would hâve to pay 
me. 

"Now, Amy, y ou must know as well as I do that Hattie has ne ver 
had any money — not much more than her pension. Just the house." 

At once Amy said, no pause coming between his words and hers, 
"I would take care of her if she'd agrée to leave the house to me." 

"Leave it in your hands, you mean?" said Rolfe. "To manage?" 

"In her will. To belong to me." 

"Why, Amy, what would you do with Hattie's house?" he said. 

"It would be my property, that's ail. Fd hâve it." 

"Maybe you would leave Fort Walters to her in your will," he 
said. 

"Oh, no," she answered quickly. "Why should I do that? Fm not 
asking Fïattie for her help. I don't need it. Hattie is a city woman." 

Rolfe could not carry this proposai back to Hattie. He was too 
wise ever to mention her will to her. 

But Pace was not so careful of her feelings. By mid-June Hattie 
had begun to visit the bar regularly. She had so many things to 
think about she couldn't keep herself at home. When Pace came in 
from the yard one day — he had been packing the axles of his horse- 
trailer and was wiping grease from his fingers — he said with his 
usual bluntness, "How would you like it if I paid you fifty bucks 
a month for the rest of your life, Hat?" 

Hattie was holding her second Old-Fashioned of the day. At the 
bar she made it appear that she observed the limit; but she had 
started drinking at home after lunch. She began to grin, expecting 
Pace to make one of his jokes. But he was wearing his scoop-shaped 

320 



LEAVING THE YELLOW HOUSE 

Western hat as level as a Quaker, and he had drawn down his chin, 
a sign that he was not fooling. She said, "That would be nice, but 
what's the catch?" 

"No catch," he said. "This is what we'd do. Fd give you fîve 
hundred dollars cash, and fîfty bucks a month for life, and you'd 
let me put some dudes in the yellow house, and you'd leave the 
house to me in your will." 

"What kind of a deal is that?" said Hattie, her look changing. "I 
thought we were friends." 

"It's the best deal you'll ever get," he said. 

The day was sultry, but Hattie till now had thought that it was 
nice, that she was dreamy, but comfortable, about to begin to enjoy 
the cool of the day; but now she felt that such cruelty and injustice 
had been waiting to attack her, that it would hâve been better to 
die in the hospital than be so disiîlusioned. 

She cried, "Everybody wants to push me out. You're a cheater, 
Pace. God! I know you. Pick on somebody else. Why do you hâve 
to pick on me? Just because I happen to be around?" 

"Why, no, Hattie," he said, trying now to be careful. "It was just 
a business offer." 

"Why don't you give me some blood for the bank if you're such 
a friend of mine?" 

"Well, Hattie, you drink too much, and you oughtn't hâve been 
driving anyway." 

"The whole thing happened because I sneezed. Everybody 
knows it. I wouldn't sell you my house. Fd give it away to the 
lepers fîrst. You'd let me go and then never send me a cent. You 
never pay anybody. You can't even buy wholesale in town any 
more because nobody trusts you. It looks as though Fm stuck, 
that 's ail, just stuck. I keep on saying that this is my only home in 
ail the world, this is where my friends are, and the weather is al- 
ways perfect and the lake is beautiful. I wish the whole damn empty 
old place were in Hell. It's not human and neither are you. But Fil 
be hère the day the sherifï takes your horses — you never mind." 

He told her then that she was drunk again, and so she was, but 
she was more than that, and though her head was spinning she de- 
cided to go back to the house at once and take care of some things 
she had been putting oiï. This very day she was going to write to 
the lawyer, Claiborne, and make sure that Pace never got her prop- 

321 



SAUL BELLOW 

erty. She wouldn't put it past him to swear in court that India had 
promised him the yellow house. 

She sat at the table with pen and paper, trying to think how to 
put it. 

"I want this on record," she wrote. "I could kick myself in the 
head when I think how he's led me on. I hâve been his patsy ten 
thousand times. As when that drunk crashed his Cub plane on the 
lake shore. At the coroner's jury he let me take the whole blâme. 
He had instructed me when I was working for him never to take in 
any drunks. And this flier was drunk. He had nothing on but a T 
shirt and Bermuda shorts and he was flying from Sacramento to 
Sait Lake City. At the inquest Pace denied he had ever given me 
such instructions. The same was true when the cook went haywire. 
She was a tramp. He never hires décent help. He cheated her on 
the bar bill and blamed me and she went after me with a méat 
cleaver. She disliked me because I criticized her for drinking at the 
bar in her one-piece white bathing suit with the dude guests. But 
he turned her loose on me. He hints that he did certain things for 
India. She would never hâve let him. He was too common for her. 
ït can never be said about India that she was not a lady in every 
way. He thinks he is the greatest sack-artist in the world. He only 
loves horses, as a fact. He has no claims at ail, oral or written, on 
this yellow house. I want you to hâve this over my signature. He 
was cruel to Pickle-Tits who was his fîrst wife, and he's no better 
to the charming woman who is his présent one. I don't know why 
she takes it. It must be despair." She said to herself, / don^t suppose 
Fd better send that. 

She was still angry. Her heart was knocking from within: the 
deep puises, as after a hot bath, beat at the back of her thighs. The 
air outside was dotted with transparent particles. The mountains 
were red as clinkers. The iris leaves were fan sticks — they stuck 
out like Jiggs's hair. 

She always ended by looking out of the window at the désert 
and the lake. They drew you from yourself. But after they had 
drawn you, njohat did they do with you? It was too late to find out. 
ru never know. I wasnh meant to. Fm not the type, Hattie re- 
flected. Maybe something too cruel for women or for any woman, 
young or old, 

So she stood up and, rising, she had the sensation that she had 

322 



LEAVING THE YELLOW HOUSE 

gradually become a container for herself. Fou get old, your heart, 
your liver, your lungs seem to expand in size, afid the walls of the 
body give njoay outwm^d, she thought, and y ou take the shape of an 
old jug, wider and njoider toward the top. Y ou swell up ivith tears 
and fat. She no longer even smelled to herself like a woman. Her 
face with its much-slept-upon skin was only faintly like her own — 
like a cloud that has changed. It was a face. It became a bail of yarn. 
It had drifted open. It had scattered. 

/ ivas never one siîigle thing anyway, she thought. Never my 
oivn. I ivas only loaned to myself. 

But the thing wasn't over yet. And in fact she didn't know for 
certain that it was ever going to be over; she had only had other 
people's Word for it that death was such and such. How do 1 knonjo? 
she asked herself challengingly. Her anger had sobered her for a 
little while. Now she was again drunk. It ivas strange. It is strange. 
It may continue being strange. She further thought, / used to ivish 
for death more than I do nonjv. Be cause I didn^t hâve any thing at ail. 
I changed when I got a roof of my oivn over me. And noiv? Do I 
hâve to go? I thought Marian loved me, but she has a sister. And 
I îiever thought Helen and Jerry would désert me. And nouo Face 
insulted me. They think Fm not going to make it. 

She went to the cupboard — she kept the bourbon bottle there; 
she drank less if each time she had to rise and open the cupboard 
door. And, as if she were being watched, she poured a drink and 
swallowed it. 

The notion that in this emptiness someone saw her was connected 
with the other fancy that she was being filmed from birth to death. 
That this was done for everyone. And afterward you could view 
your life. 

Hattie wanted to see some of it now, and she sat down on the 
dogs' paw cushions of her sofa and, with her knees far apart and a 
smile of yearning and of fright, she bent her round back, burned a 
cigarette at the corner of her mouth and saw — the Church of Saint- 
Sulpice in Paris where her organ teacher used to bring her. It looked 
like country walls of stone, but rising high and leaning outward 
were towers. She was very young. She knew music. The sky was 
grey. After this she saw some entertaining things she liked to tell 
people about. She was a young wife. She was in Aix-les-Bains with 
her mother-in-law, and they played bridge in a mud bath with a 

323 



SAUL BELLOW 

British gênerai and his aide. There were artificial waves in the swim- 
ming pool. She lost her bathing suit because it was a size too big. 
How did she get ont? Ah, you got out of everything. 

She saw her husband, James John Waggoner IV. They were 
snowbound together in New Hampshire. "Ji^n^Y^ Jinimy, how 
can you fling a wife away?" she asked him. "Hâve you forgotten 
love? Did I drink too much — did I bore you?" He had married 
again and had two children. He had gotten tired of her. And 
though he was a vain man with nothing to be vain about — no looks, 
not too much intelligence, nothing but an old Philadelphia family 
— she had loved him. She too had been a snob about her Philadel- 
phia connections. Give up the name of Waggoner? How could 
she? For this reason she had never married Wicks. "How dare 
you," she had said to Wicks, "come without a shave in a dirty shirt 
and muck on you, come and ask me to marry! If you want to pro- 
pose, go and clean up first." But his dirt was only a pretext. Trade 
Waggoner for Wicks? she asked herself again with a swing of her 
shoulders. She wouldn't think of it. Wicks was an excellent man. 
But he was a cowboy. He couldn't even read. But she saw this on 
her film. They were in Athens Canyon, in a cratelike house, and 
she was reading aloud to him from The Count of Monte Cristo. He 
wouldn't let her stop. While walking to stretch her legs, she read, 
and he followed her about to catch each word. After ail, he was 
very dear to her. Such a man! Now she saw him jump from his 
horse. They were living on the range, trapping coyotes. It was just 
the second grey of evening, cloudy, moments after the sun had 
gone down. There was an animal in the trap, and he went toward 
i: to kill it. He wouldn't waste a bullet on the créatures, but killed 
them with a kick of his boot. And then Hattie saw that this coyote 
was ail white — snarling teeth, white cruff. "Wicks, he's white! 
White as a polar bear. You're not going to kill him, are you?" The 
animal flattened to the ground. He snarled and cried. He couldn't 
pull away because of the heavy trap. And Wicks killed him. What 
else could he hâve done? The white beast lay dead. The dust of 
Wicks' boots hardly showed on its head and jaws. Blood ran from 
the muzzle. 

And now came something on Hattie's film she tried to shun. It 
was she herself who had killed her dog, Richie. Just as Rolfe and 

324 



LEAVING THE YELLOW HOUSE 

Pace had warned her, he was vicious, his brain was mrned. She, be- 
cause she was on the side of ail dumb créatures, defended him when 
he bit the trashy woman Jacamares was Kving with. Perhaps if she 
had had Richie from a puppy he wouldn't hâve turned on her. 
When she got him he was already a year and a half old and she 
couldn't break him of his habits. But she thought only she under- 
stood him. And Rolfe had warned her, "You'U be sued, do you 
know it? The dog will take out after somebody smarter than that 
Jacamares' woman and you'll be in for it." 

Hattie saw herself as she swayed her shoulders and said, "Non- 
sensé." 

But what fear she had felt when the dog went for her on the 
porch. Suddenly she could see by his skull, by his eyes that he was 
evil. She screamed at him, "Richie!" And what had she done to 
him? He had lain under the gas range ail day growling and 
wouldn't come out. She tried to urge him out with the broom, and 
he snatched it in his teeth. She pulled him out and he left the stick 
and tore at her. Now, as the spectator of this, her eyes opened, 
beyond the pregnant curtain and the air wave of mari dust, sum- 
mer's snow, drifting over the water. "Oh, my God! Richie!" Her 
thigh was snatched by his jaws. His teeth went through her skirt. 
She felt she would fall. Would she go down? Then the dog would 
rush at her throat — then black night, bad-odored mouth, the blood 
pouring from her torn veins. Her heart shriveled as the teeth went 
in her thigh, and she couldn't delay another second but took her 
kindling hatchet from the nail, strengthened her grip on the smooth 
wood and hit the dog. She saw the blow. She saw him die at once. 
And then in fear and shame she hid the body. And at night she 
buried him in the yard. Next day she accused Jacamares. On him 
she laid the blâme for the disappearance of her dog. 

She stood up; she spoke to herself in silence, as was her habit. 
God, what shall I do? I hâve taken life. I hâve lied. I hâve borne 
false witness. I hâve stalled. And now what shall I do? Nobody 
will help me. 

And suddenly she made up her mind that she should go and do 
what she had been putting off for weeks, namely, test herself with 
the car, and she slipped on her shoes and went out. Lizards ran 
before her in the thirsty dust. She opened the hot, broad door of 
the car. She lifted her lame hand onto the wheel. Her right hand 

325 



SAUL BELLOW 

she reached far to the left and turned the wheel with ail her might. 
Then she started the motor and tried to drive out of the yard. But 
she could not release the emergency brake with its rasphke rod. 
She reached with her good hand, the right, under the steering 
wheel and pressed her bosom on it and strained. No, she could not 
shift the gears and steer. She couldn't even reach the hand brake. 
The sweat broke out on her skin. Her efforts were too much. She 
was deeply wounded by the pain in her arm. The door of the car 
fell open again and she turned from the wheel and with her stiff 
legs outside the door she wept. What could she do now? And when 
she had wept over the ruin of her life she got out of the old car 
and went back to the house. She took the bottle of bourbon from 
the cupboard and picked up the ink bottle and a pad of paper and 
sat down to write her will. 

My Will, she wrote, and sobbed to herself . 

Since the death of India she had numberless times asked the 
question, To Whom? Who will get this when I die? She had un- 
consciously put people to the test to find out whether they were 
worthy. It made her more severe than before. 

Now she wrote, "I, Harriet Simmons Waggoner, being of sound 
mind and not knowing what may be in store for me at the âge of 
seventy-two (born 1885), living alone at Sego Désert Lake, instruct 
my lawyer, Harold Claiborne, Paiute County Court Building, to 
draw my last will and testament upon the folio wing terms." 

She sat perfectly still now to hear from within who would be 
the lucky one, who would inherit the yellow house. For which she 
had waited. Yes, waited for India's death, choking on her bread 
because she was a rich woman's servant and whipping girl. But who 
had done for her, Hattie, what she had done for India? And who, 
apart from India, had ever held out a hand to her? Kindness, yes. 
Hère and there people had been kind. But the word in her head was 
not kindness, it was succor. And who had given her that? Only 
India. If at least, next best after succor, someone had given her a 
shake and said, "Stop stalling. Don't be such a slow, old, procrasti- 
nating sit-stiller." Again, it was only India who had done her good. 
She had offered her succor. ''Het-tieT said that drunken mask. '^Do 
y ou know ivhat sloth is? Daîmi your poky old li^eT 

But I njoas waiting, Hattie realized. / ivas waiting, thinking, 
^^Youth is terrible, frigbtening. I will wait it out. And men? M en 

326 



LEAVING THE YELLOW HOUSE 

are cruel and strong. They want things I havenH got to giveP There 
njoere no kids in me, thought Hattie. Not that I njoouldn^t hâve 
loved them, but such my nature was. And who can blâme me for 
having it? My nature? 

She drank from an Old-Fashioned glass. There was no orange 
in it, no ice, no bitters or sugar, only the stinging, clear bourbon. 

So then, she continued, looking at the dry sun-stamped dust and 
the last freckled flowers of red wild peach, to live ivith Angus and 
his iDtfe, and hâve to hear a chapter from the Bible before break- 
fast; once more in the house — not of a stranger, pei^haps, but not 
far from it either. In other houses, in someone else's house, to wait 
for mealtimes was her lifelong punishment. She always felt it in the 
throat and stomach. And so she would again, and to the very end. 
However, she must think of someone to leave the house to. 

And first of ail she wanted to do right by her family. None of 
them had ever dreamed that she, Hattie, would ever hâve something 
to bequeath. Until a few years ago it had certainly looked as if she 
would die a pauper. So now she could keep her head up with the 
proudest of them. And, as this occurred to her, she actually lifted 
up her face with its broad nose and victorious eyes; if her hair had 
become shabby as onion roots, if at the back her head was round 
and bald as a newel post, what did that matter? Her heart experi- 
enced a childish glory, not yet tired of it after seventy-two years. 
She, too, had amounted to something. 77/ do some good by going, 
she thought. Noiv I believe I should leave it to, to. . . . She re- 
turned to the old point of struggle. She had decided many times 
and many times changed her mind. She tried to think, Who would 
get the most out of it? It was a tearing thing to go through. If it 
had not been the yellow house but instead some brittle thing she 
could hold in her hand, then the last thing she would do would be 
to throw and smash it, and so the thing and she herself would be 
demolished together. But it was vain to think such thoughts. To 
whom should she leave it? Her brothers? Not they. Nephews? One 
was a submarine commander. The other was a bachelor in the State 
Department. Then began the roll call of cousins. Merton? He 
owned an esta te in Connecticut. Anna? She had a face like a hot- 
water bottle. That left Joyce, the orphaned daughter of her cousin 
Wilfred. Joyce was the most likely heiress. Hattie had already writ- 
ten to her and had her out to the lake at Thanksgiving, two years 

327 



SAUL BELLOW 

ago. But this Joyce was another odd one; over thirty, good, yes, 
but placid, running to fat, a scholar — ten years in Eugène, Oregon, 
working for her degree. In Hattie's opinion this was only another 
form of sloth. Nevertheless, Joyce yet hoped to marry. Whom? 
Not Dr. Stroud. He wouldn't. And still she had vague hope. Hattie 
knew how that could be. At least hâve a man she could argue with. 

She was now more drunk than at any time since her accident. 
Again she filled her glass. Hâve ye eyes and see not? Sleepers, 
awakef 

Knees wide apart she sat in the twilight, thinking. Marian? Mar- 
ian didn't need another house. Half Pint? She wouldn't know what 
to do with it. Brother Louis came up for considération next. He 
was an old actor who had a church for the Indians at Athens Can- 
yon. Hollywood stars of the silent days sent him their négligées; 
he altered them and wore them in the pulpit. The Indians loved 
his show. But when Biily Shawah blew his brains out after his two- 
week bender, they still tore his shack down and turned it inside out 
to get rid of his ghost. They had their old religion. No, not Brother 
Louis. He'd show movies in the yellow house to the tribe or make 
a nursery of it. 

And now she began to consider Wicks. When last heard from 
lie was south of Bishop, California, a handy man in a saloon ofî 
toward Death Valley. It wasn't she who heard from him but Pace. 
Herself, she hadn't actually seen Wicks since — how low she had 
sunk then! — she had kept the hamburger stand on Route 158. The 
iittle lunchroom had supported them both. Wicks hung around 
on the end stool, roUing cigarettes (she saw it on the film). Then 
there was a quarrel. Things had been going from bad to worse. 
He'd begun to grouse now about this and now about that. He com- 
plained about the food, at last. She saw and heard him. "Hat," he 
said, "Fm good and tired of hamburger." "Well, what do you 
think I eat?" she said with that round, défiant movement of her 
shoulders which she herself recognized as characteristic (me ail 
over, she thought). But he opened the cash register and took out 
thirty cents and crossed the street to the butcher's and brought 
back a steak. He threw it on the griddle. 'Try it," he said. She did 
and watched him eat. 

And when he was through she could bear her rage no longer. 
"Now," she said, "you've had your méat. Get out. Never corne 

328 



LEAVING THE YELLOW HOUSE 

back." She kept a pistol under the counter. She picked it up, cocked 
it, pointed it at his heart. "If you ever corne in that door again, Fil 
kill you," she said. 

She saw it ail. / couldnH bear to fall so loWy she thought, to be 
slave to a shijtless co'vohoy. 

Wicks said, "Don't do that, Hat. Guess I went too far. You're 
right." 

"You'll never hâve a chance to make it up," she cried. "Get out!" 

On that cry he disappeared, and since then she had never seen 
him. 

"Wicks, dear," she said. "Please! Fm sorry. Don't condemn me 
in your heart. Forgive me. I hurt myself in my evil. I always had 
a thick idiot head. I v^as born with a thick head." 

Again she wept, for Wicks. She was too proud. A snob. Now 
they might hâve lived together in this house, old friends, simple 
and plain. 

She thought, He really was my good friend. 

But what would Wicks do with a house like this, alone, if he 
was alive and survived her? He was too wiry for soft beds or easy 
chairs. 

And she was the one who had said stiffly to India, "Fm a Chris- 
tian person. I do not bear a grudge." 

Ah, y es, she said to herself. / hâve caught myself out too often. 
How long can this go on? And she began to think, or try to think 
of Joyce, her cousin's daughter. Joyce was like herself, a woman 
alone, getting on, clumsy. She would hâve given much, now, to 
succor Joyce. 

But it seemed to her now that that too had been a story. First 
you heard the pure story. Then you heard the impure story. Both 
stories. She had paid out years, now to one shadow, nov^ to another 
shadow. 

Joyce would corne hère to the house. She had a little income and 
could manage. She would live as Hattie had lived, alone. Hère she 
would rot, start to drink, maybe, and day after day read, day after 
day sleep. See how beautiful it was hère? It burned you out. How 
empty? It turned you into ash. 

"How can I doom a young person to the same life?" asked Hat- 
tie. "It's for somebody like me. When I was younger it wasn't right. 
But now it is. Only I fit in hère. It was made for my old âge, to 

329 



SAUL BELLOW 

spend my last years peacefully. If I hadn't let Jerry make me drunk 
that night — if I hadn't sneezed! My arm! Fil hâve to Hve with 
Angus. My heart will break there away from my only home." 

She now was very drunk, and she said to herself, Take what God 
brings. He gives no gifts unmïxed. He makes loans. 

She resumed her letter of instructions to lawyer Claiborne: *'Upon 
the foUowing terms," she wrote a second time. "Because I hâve 
sufîered much. Because I only lately received what I hâve to give 
away, I can't bear it." The drunken blood was soaring to her head. 
But her hand was clear enough. She wrote, "It is too soon! Too 
soon! Because I do not find it in my heart to care for anyone as I 
would wish. Being cast ofï and lonely, and doing no harm where 
I am. Why should it be? This breaks my heart. In addition to 
everything else, why must I worry about this, which I must leave? 
I am tormented out of my mind. Even though by my own fault I 
hâve put myself into this position. And am not ready to give up on 
this. No, not yet. And so Fil tell you what, I leave this property, 
land, house, garden and water rights, to Hattie Simmons Waggoner. 
Me! I realize this is bad and wrong. It cannot happen. Yet it is 
the only thing I really wish to do, so may God hâve mercy on my 
soûl." 

"How can that be?" She studied what she had written and finally 
she acknowledged that she was drunk. "Fm drunk," she said, "and 
don't know what Fm doing. Fil die, and end. Like India. Dead as 
that lilac bush. Only tonight I can't give the house away. Fm drunk 
and so I need it. But I won't be selfish from the grave. Fil think 
again tomorrow," she promised herself. She went to sleep then. 



330 



Bernard Shaw 



LETTERS TO ALICE LOCKETT 



Thèse previously unpublished letters of George Bernard Shaw ap- 
peared in the April 1958 "Spécial British Issue" with the following 
note: 

"When GBS first fell in love, he was twenty-seven years old, the 
impoverished young author of four novels which no publisher would 
touch, working on a fifth, and living with (and ofî) his mother on 
the second floor at 36 Osnaburgh Street, N.W., London. 

"The object of his first — and most desperately romantic — passion 
was a beautiful young hospital nurse, Alice Lockett, v/ho came to the 
flat evenings to study singing with his mother. It was Shaw's habit 
to escort her after the lesson to Liverpool Street, where she caught a 
train back to Walthamstow. When the correspondence opens, Shaw 
had known her for more than a year and, for the first time, had 
persuaded Miss Lockett to miss her train. 

"GBS had been in London almost eight years, had had his fling 
at formai employment and had given it up in favor of the reading 
room at the British Muséum, where he was writing novels, reading 
Marx and studying Wagner scores. He joined debating groups in 
order to conquer a painful self-consciousness about speaking in 
public. With his brilliant red beard, pallid skin, and a suit he had 
worn almost since the day of his arrivai from Ireland, the GBS who 
penned this polished prose seemed an indescribably strange and 
shabby young man. 

"During the twenty-fîve months spanned in thèse excerpts, Shaw 
completed the fifth novel. An Unsocial Socialist, and while it was 
rejected by book publishers, it did run in serialized form (without 
pay) through ail of 1884, in To-day. It was during this period, too, 
that he joined the new Fabian Society, beginning a lifetime of politi- 
cal agitation that would direct his énergies and influence his art. 

"There is a twelve-month hiatus between the next-to-last and the 
final letter, unaccounted for in Shaw's relationship with Miss Lockett, 
but critical to his career. Through his new friend, William Archer, 
GBS began writing book reviews for The Pall Mail Gazette, music 
criticism for The Dramatic Review and art criticism for Annie 



BERNARD SHAW 

Besant's Our Corner, He also made his début as an orator, present- 
ing the fîrst formai déclarations of the new Fabian Society. His father 
died in Ireland, and ont of his life insurance came the only new 
suit GBS had owned in many years. By the end of 1885, he had found 
people who interested him, earned enough to support himself ( ;f 1 1 2 ) 
and soon he would move, with his mother, to a house on Fitzroy 
Square. But beyond that, and more important to the fate of his 
romance with Alice Lockett, Shaw embarked on his fîrst afïair — 
having been seduced on his twenty-ninth birthday by Jenny Patter- 
son, a widow twelve years his senior, just two and a half months 
before the final letter to Miss Lockett was composed. 

"Alice Lockett continued to study music with Shaw's mother 
and retained enough sentimental feeling toward GBS to keep his 
letters. She later married a doctor, Salisbury Sharpe, raised two 
children and, with her husband, continued to visit Mrs. Shaw 
socially. Thèse letters, recently purchased from her estate by New 
York book dealer John Fleming and sold to Guillermo Tamayo of 
Caracas, Venezuela, are hère made public for the first time." 



9 September 1883: forgive me. ... In playing on my own 
thoughts for the entertainment of the most charming of compan- 
ions last night, I unskilfully struck a note that pained her — unless 
she greatly deceived me. I hâve felt remorseful ever since, and she 
has been reproaching herself ail day for willfuUy missing a train. 
Heavens! to regret having dared at last to be frank and kind! Did 
you not see at that moment a set of leading strings fall from you 
and hang themselves upon me in the form of golden chains? The 
heart of any other man would hâve stopped during those seconds 
after you had slowly turned your back upon the barrier and yet 
were still in doubt. Mine is a machine and did not stop; but it did 
something strange. It put me in suspense,, which is the essence of 
woman's power over man, and which you had never made me 
feel before — I was always certain of what you would do until that 
question of the train arose. And I repaid you for the luxury by 
paining you. I did not intend to do so any more than you intended 
to please me, so forgive forgive forgive forgive forgive me. 

I cannot (or perhaps will not) resist the impulse to write to you. 
Believe nothing that I say — I hâve a wicked tongue, a deadly pen, 
and a cold heart — I shall be angry with myself tomorrow for send- 

332 



LETTERS TO ALICE LOCKETT 

ing you this, and yet, when I next meet you, I shall plunge head- 
long into fresh cause for anger. 

Farewell, dear Alice. There! is it not outrageous? Burn it. Do 
not read it. Alas! it is too la te: you hâve read it. 

II September: Corne! if you meant ail you said, you would not 
hâve written to me at ail. When you are with me, you hâve flashes 
of generosity. You strive to keep it down, you hâve tried to prove 
that it does not exist by a wicked letter, and yet the letter — most 
ungenerous of letters — owes its very existence to that generosity. 
. . . You strive to be an unapproachable grov^n up person of the 
world, worldly. It is that grown up person, Miss Lockett to wit, 
who reproaches me for my weakness, fearing that weakness instinc- 
tively because it is my strength. Well, let Miss Lockett beware, 
for she is the dragon that preys upon Alice, and I will rescue 
Alice from her. I hâte her with a mortal hatred. ... I will shew 
Alice what she is, and Alice will abandon her forever. Miss Lockett 
says she cannot help despising me. It is false; Miss Lockett fears 
me, and is piqued when I dispraise her. She says that unless I hâve 
a very bad memory, I will recollect the ungenerous things she has 
said to me. Wrong again: I do not recollect one of them, and yet 
my memory is good, for I recollect everything that Alice has said 
to me. . . . Alice is the sweetest of companions, and for her sake ï 
hâve sworn war against foolish Miss Lockett, who is ashamed of 
her and suppresses and snubs her as the false and artificial always 
suppresses, snubs, and is ashamed of the natural, simple, humble, 
and truthful. But Miss Lockett, proud as she is of her strength, is 
a weakhng; and her complaints, her pains, her bitter letters begin- 
ning with that vile phrase "May I ask," and going on to ask without 
waiting for the permission that she was not sincère in begging, are 
the throes of her dissolution. 

Hâve I not also a dual self — an enemy within my gâtes — an 
egotistical George Shaw upon whose neck I hâve to keep a grinding 
foot — a fîrst cousin of Miss Lockett? And such a model of a right- 
eous man as that George Shaw was in the days of his dominion! 
How resolved he was to be an example to others, to tread the path 
of duty, to respect himself, to walk with the ears of his conscience 
strained on the alert, to do everything as perfectly as it could be 
done, and — oh — monstrous! — to improve ail those with whom he 

333 



BERNARD SHAW 

came in contact. Hère was a castle of strength and rectitude for 
you! And hère was a foundation of measureless ignorance, conceit, 
and weakness! Verily, until he became as a little child again and 
was not ashamed to fall in love with Alice (then greatly under the 
thumb of Miss Lockett, who was, however, much flattered by the 
attention of a person of superior talent) he was in a bad way. . . . 
She thinks it is due to herself to prétend that love is an infringe- 
ment of her claims to respect. 

But her claim réfutes itself. Respectability is a quality, not a 
right. The lily does not claim whiteness — it is white. Alice does 
not claim respectability — she is respectable. 

Farewell, dear Alice — do not show this letter to Miss Lockett; it 
will only enrage her. Do not let her write to me again — write your- 
self. . . . Pray hide our correspondence from her, hide our inter- 
views from her, and be tranquil, she will not trouble you long. . . . 

8 October: I am sorry that I offend you by not being serions. I am 
sorrier that I please you still less when I am serions. I am glad that 
I can read between the lines of your reproaches, and make ail your 
unmeant resentment matter for fresh meaning. And do you not 
think yourself an ungrateful wretch to accuse me of want of seri- 
ousness? ... If you hâve made me feel, hâve I not made you 
think? Hâve I been altogether unto you as a liar, and as waters that 
fail? (This is Scripture, and I hope you will not profanely doubt 
the seriousness of that.) I am, as I hâve private reasons for knowing, 
opinionated, vain, weak, ignorant, lazy and so forth, and the 
glimpses you get of thèse failings do not deceive you in the least. 
But dare any man or woman profess themselves impartial, modest, 
strong, wise, and diligent? Let any such cast the first stone. Such 
failings are instructive to witness sometimes, and you may learn a 
little from them alone, not to mention the abysses of folly of which 
I do not know myself to be guilty any more than I know the taste 
of water. (We do not know the taste of water because our palates 
live in water. For an analogous reason, thoroughly false people are 
never conscious of their falsehood.) You must not expect perfec- 
tion from me. By the bye, I hâve observed that the people who 
hold the abominable doctrine of original sin are those who seem 
most surprised when they meet with people who fall short of ab- 

334 



LETTERS TO ALICE LOCKETT 

soluté virtue. (They don't know that there is no such thing as 
absolute virtue.) 

. . . Farewell, and study Figaro diligently. Mozart's music and 
your beaux yeux — ^what need I more to be happy after my day's 
work. Ah, if our business hère were merely to be happy! (I con- 
fess I shouldn't really enjoy such a state of things, I despise happi- 
ness.) 

5 November: . . . Wretch that y ou were to catch that train, and 
fool that I am to put myself in the way of caring whether you 
caught it or not! I will be your slave no longer: you used me vilely 
when we met before, and you disappointed me horribly tonight. 
I recant every word I hâve ever said to you, and plead temporary 
insanity as my excuse for having uttered them. I am exceedingly 
glad that I had not to wait another half hour at that waiting room. 
I detest the entire universe. I did nothing but tell you monstrous 
lies — I wonder you can be so credulous as to believe my transparent 
flatteries. I say the same things to everybody. I believe in my soûl 
that you never meant to catch that train — that you were as much 
disappointed as I when you found it had not gone. As much disap- 
pointed, that is, as I pretended to hâve been. In reality, I was over- 
joyed. You told me I was in an unamiable humor. Behold the fruits 
of it. Must I eternally flatter flatter flatter flatter flatter? If ever 
woman was undeservedly beloved (supposing any man could be 
found mad enough to love you a little at odd moments when your 
complexion is unusually beautiful) you are she. 

Yours with the most profound Indifférence and in the most 
entire Freedom from any attraction on the part of Any Woman 
Living. 

6 NovEMBER: Aha! I thought a new sort of letter would make you 
answer me. . . . So I must not love you for your good looks and 
complexion (fancy the vanity of a woman praising herself in that 
fashion. For shame!) but for what you are. Well, what are you? 
Come, tell me what ail thèse great qualifies are for which I am to 
love you. You say you are gênerons and manly (which latter is 
nonsense) . Is it gênerons to tell me that I consider myself irrésistible 
(which you spell improperly) ? You say you cannot respect me be- 

335 



BERNARD SHAW 

cause I am your slave. How can you be so conceited as to believe 
that I am your slave? You say the writing of your letter afïorded you 
the greatest delight, and then you go on through six pages boasting 
intolerably of your insight, your superiority to flattery, your "true 
generousness" (generosity), your scorn of servility, your "good 
looks," your "beautiful complexion," the extent to which your 
spiritual nature surpasses both, the nobility of women in gênerai, 
your "heart and fancy," and your scrupulous justice and gratitude 
even to such worms as myself so far as I deserve it. Then cornes a 
lecture to me on the sin of vanity. I believe such a monstrous out- 
burst of egotism never was penned. And, after being called base, 
clumsy (oh fury! ), impatient and ignorant, I am told that I am very 
entertaining and instructive. Am I a dancing beat or a learned pig 
that I shouid be insulted thus? I hâve sometimes blamed you for 
being morbidly afraid lest people shouid suppose that you were 
praising yourself, and I hâve eiîected a frightfully complète cure. 
*'Beautiful complexion!" "True generousness!" — did any man ever 
read or woman write such things before? But it is ail my fault for 
telling you of them. Why don't you date your letters, and write 
legibly, and write on paper unblemished by vain shows of insincere 
grief? 

Alas, my dear Alice, ail this folly goes against the grain with me 
tonight. . . . We are a pair of children, and pétulant children 
shouid be petted and kissed into good humor. I am too big to be 
petted; but you are not too big to be kissed, and your "beautiful 
complexion" has tempted me often. Enough, midnight strikes, 
and my head is in a tumult with matters about which you do not 
care twopence. But your corner is an adorable place in which to 
pass the evening of a busy day. You will find ail about it and about 
your dual entity (if you understand that) made the foundation of 
the most sentimental part of my book. 

Oh ye, to ivhom she shoivs this letter, consîder whether you hâve 
not been as great fools as î, before ye blâme me. Is it my fault if she 
does not deserve ail the hours I hâve given to her? 

19 November: This is a silly letter to replace the sensible one you 
tore up and threw out of the window. Or else it is a sensible letter 
to replace the silly one you destroyed. I do not know which — I only 

33<^ 



LETTERS TO ALICE LOCKETT 

know that when we were at the piano this evening, and you — No, 
I will not tell you. . . . 

I am full of remorse for saying thèse things to you. If I had your 
heart, I know I should break it, and yet I wish I had it. Is not this 
monstrous? Take your lesson in the morning, so that I may ne ver 
see you again, I implore you; and when you hâve done so, and I 
presently beg you to come in the evening, do not listen to me. 

Oh, the infinité mischief that a woman may do by stooping for- 
ward to turn over a sheet of music! 

I am alone, and yet there is a détestable, hardheaded, heartless, 
cynical, cool devil seated in my chair telling me that ail this is in- 
sincere, lying affection. But I defy him — it is he who is. I hâve only 
sold my working hours to him. Hâte and mistrust him as much as 
you will; but believe me too, and help me to snatch a few moments 
from his withering power. . . . 

29 November: I think our acquaintance had better cease at once, 
and for ever. I will not go into particulars, as I hâve no désire to 
wound your feelings, which I hâve always scrupulously respected. 
I will merely say that though I despise falsehood and treachery, yet 
I wish you well and forgive you, When we next meet, let it be as 
strangers. . . . 

. . . Never again will I believe the professions of people with 
whom religion and an affectation of conscientiousness is only a 
cloak for the most heartless coquetry. I apply this observation to 
no particular individual: it is impersonal and gênerai. My circum- 
stances provoke it, and I leave its application to your conscience. 

I relinquish an acquaintance which was never more than the 
amusement of an idle hour, without regret, save for having ever 
forme d it. 

Yours truly, 

Whom? 

Not I, on my soûl, oh tyrannical but irrésistible Alice. ... 

19 AuGUST 1884: So you hâve no time for thought. Poor Alice! 
Shall I Write you a letter in return for your three sheets of réti- 
cences? A year ago I would hâve written copiously. But now I 
begin to reflect. For the last fourteen years I hâve been writing 
letters — some thousands of them — a couple of hundred perhaps to 

337 



BERNARD SHAW 

women — and what has corne of it ail? Only that it is growing 
harder and harder to write, easier and easier ta be written to. You 
are a novice at letter writing, I an expert. I am a novice at love- 
making, you an expert. Let us then improve ourselves by practice. 
Write to me, and I will make love to you — to relieve the enormous 
solitude which I carry about with me. I do not like myself, and 
sometimes I do not like you; but there are moments when our two 
unfortunate soûls seem to cling to the same spar in a gleam of sun- 
shine, free of the other wreckage for a moment. 

Well, let us make the most of the days of our vanity. Do you 
ever read Shakespeare, or Swift, or Koheleth (popularly known as 
Ecclesiastes) ? 

Why hâve you become so abandonedly reckless of the impro- 
priety of corresponding with me? 

i6 October: Démon! Démon! Démon! Not a statement in your 
letter is true except the wicked and heartless one that you went 
home by the 8:32 train, which was the act of a fiend. You did 
want to answer my letter. You did not consider it unfair. There 
was occasion to write. A decided arrangement ivas made. I am 
never wanting in décision. Mistrust did not creep into your heart 
after my letter: you hâve no heart; and you hâve mistrusted me 
(and, with more reason, yourself also) ever since we first met. 
You are neither imaginative nor impulsive, and I believe you went 
home in a rage. I do not try my best to make anything: if I were 
capable of trying my best I should be a better man, and not suffer 
you to make a fool of me. . . . 

I am not offended: I am only furious. You were quite right to 
go by the 8:32. Had you waited, I should hâve despised you (or 
tried to, on principle); for I respect people who always act sen- 
sibly and are devoid of the weaknesses known as "feelings." You 
behaved like a prudent woman, like a lady, and like a flint-hearted 
wretch. 

. . . Thank God (if there was any such person) I hâve perfect 
control of my temper, and, when I am hurt, can conceal my in- 
dignation. . . . Adieu, dear démon. 

P.S. Heavens! I nearly put this by mistake into the envelope of the 
other one, which is to Elinor Huddart! It happens that we had an 

338 



LETTERS TO ALICE LOCKETT 

appointment the other day which she was unable to keep, and I 
hâve not seen her since. Fancy her feelings if she had received this 
and took ail the abuse to herself. I should hâve been lectured, too; 
Elinor is a serious friend, and not a trifier like Miss Lockett. 

8 OcTOBER 1885: No, not for the smallest fraction of a second. My 
season is commencing: my nights are filling up one by one: I am 
booked for half a dozen lectures within the next month. I shall be 
out tonight with Stepniak and the underdone. My DR copy must 
be done today. Tomorrow an article is due for the Magazine of 
Music. On Saturday my contribution to Our Corner must be 
written. On Sunday there is a lecture, not one idea for which hâve 
I yet arranged. Meanwhile, To-day is howling for more copy. See 
y ou this week! Avaunt, sorceress: not this month — not until next 
July. Not, in any case, until I am again in the détestable humour 
which is the only one to which y ou minister. Remember: I am not 
always a savage. My pleasures are music, conversation, the grapple 
of my intelligence with fresher ones. Ail this I can sweeten with a 
kiss; but I cannot saturate and spoil it with fifty thousand. Love- 
making grows tedious to me — the émotion has evaporated from it. 
This is your fault: since your return I hâve seen you twice, and 
both times you hâve been lazy and unintelligently luxurious. I will 
not spend such evenings except when I am for a moment tired and 
brutish. Even then I will turn with relief and gratitude from moral 
death with you to moral life and activity with other women— with 
men — with the Fabians even — with my work — anywhere where 
ail my faculties and sympathies are awake and active. I only value 
friends for what they can give me: if you can only give me one 
thing, I shall value you only for that. It is useless for you to protest 
— the matter is not within my will — you will be valued as you de- 
serve, not as you wish to be valued. You hâve said that the most 
beautiful woman can give no more than she has. Do not forget that 
I cannot esteem the most beautiful woman for more than she is. I 
want as much as I can get: there is no need to force it upon me if 
it exists; I am only too thirsty for companionship. Beware. When 
ail the love has gone out of me, I am remorseless: I hurl the truth 
about like destroying lightning. — GBS 



339 



Gcorzc Jean l^aûian 



MEMOIRS OF MENCKEN AND 
FITZGERALD 



In September 1957, at the beginning of George Jean Nathan's 
fatal illness, Esquire's Publisher's Page carried what Arnold Gingrich 
called "less a formai tribute than a sort of informai get-well note." 
It was subtited "The Last of the Boulevardiers" and said, in part: 

"Mencken and Nathan were two of the best friends that Esquive 
ever had, particularly in the formative years of its fîrst décade. Both 
contributed to the magazine in its early days, before Nathan began 
writing about the théâtre for us on a regular monthly basis, and 
both were enormously helpful to it. Nathan obtained such contribu- 
tors for us as Sinclair Lewis and Edgar Lee Masters, while Mencken 
was influential in getting both Théodore Dreiser and Scott Fitz- 
gerald into our pages." 

In October 1936, the dean of drama critics had begun the first of 
his monthly séries of théâtre reviews under the heading, "First Nights 
and Passing Judgments." The séries continued through September 
1946, and Nathan regularly revised and incorporated the pièces into 
his Théâtre Book of the Year. 

Nine years later, in August 1955, Nathan began another column of 
drama criticism, "Reflections After the Curtain Falls." This regular 
feature, along with essays by Aldous Huxley and Paul Gallico, com- 
prised the opening "Golden Curtain" in each issue of Esquire through 
the mid-1950's. When Nathan became so ill he could no longer meet 
monthly deadlines, he was asked to write, at his leisure, his memoirs 
of Mencken, which appeared in October 1957, and of Sinclair Lewis, 
F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Théodore Dreiser, ail three of which appeared 
after his death in Esquire^s ijth Anniversary issue, October 1958. 



THE HAPPIEST DAYS OF H. L. MENCKEN 

I FIRST LAID EYES ON THE CHERUB-FACED MAN WITH THE GOLDEN 

hair parted in the middle and slapped down like a barber's on Sun- 
day morning, and in a stiiï, starched Herbert Hoover coUar on a 

340 



MEMOIRS OF MENCKEN AND FITZGERALD 

morning in the early May of 1908. It was in the offices of the old 
Smart Set Magazine where we had been called in to be ofïered the 
respective jobs of literary and dramatic critic. The stranger thrust 
ont his hand at me and exclaimed, "Fm H. L. Mencken from Bal- 
timore and Fm the biggest damned fool in Christendom and I don't 
want to hear any boastful reply that you claim the honor." Fifteen 
minutes later, after we had completed our business, we were seated 
together drinking a mutual congratulatory Florestan cocktail in 
the bar of the old Beaux Arts Café a block and a half away. 
"What's your attitude toward the world?" he asked, and continued 
before I had a chance to open my mouth: "I view it as a mess in 
which the clowns are paid more than they are worth, so I respect- 
fully suggest that, when we get going, we get our full share." 

When we subsequently got going we found ourselves in the 
posts of co-editors of the magazine in whose offices we had first 
met. "I see a magazine as something to make the idiotie more idiotie 
and the crazy crazier," was his dictum. "So I hope you will agrée 
with me when we propose, first, to get the proper amount of fun 
out of our jobs and to pray that the money, if any, will respectfully 
oblige us by duly coming in afterwards." 

The popular belief that friendships and even acquaintances met 
on shipboard, save possibly in the instances of chorus girls, never 
last and that one subsequently runs as from the plague if one again 
encounters them after landing takes a twist worthy of O. Henry 
and even Horatio Alger at his most imaginative in the break that 
eventually landed Mencken and me in the post of the Smart Sefs 
co-editors and, eventually, co-owners. One day on the return trip 
of the Europa from Europe a stranger approached me on the deck 
and asked me where I had obtained my exact duplicate of a tweed 
overcoat that he was wearing. After I imparted the information 
he requested, he suggested that I join him for a drink in the smok- 
ing room. "What's your name?" he bade me. When I told him, 
he allowed that I was the only writer he had ever met personally 
and that he had a proposition for me. '1 hâve just acquired the 
Smart Set Magazine and I offer you the editorship starting as soon 
as we land." I inquired his name — it was Eltinge F. Warner — and 
told him that if my recently made friend, Mencken, would serve 
as co-editor with me ï would accept the job. The rest is magazine 
history. 

341 



GEORGE JEAN NATHAN 

Mencken said that he would go with me and when, several days 
later, we arrived at our editorial sanctum, the first thing he did was 
to cock his shoes up on the handsome mahogany desk to the an- 
guish of our publisher and to inquire of me what I had in mind as 
our editorial poHcy. Before I had a chance to answer he inter- 
rupted, "After ail, that can wait. More magazines are spoiled by 
the announcement of an editorial policy that their editors soon 
find they hâve to abandon if their magazine is to survive than even 
magazines with too much money in the bank. Much more impor- 
tant is that we go to work setting up a free lunch for poets. Poets," 
he went on, "can no more be expected to write anything worth- 
while in the way of poetry on an empty stomach or the kind of 
garbage they hâve to subsist on in Greenwich Village than Shake- 
speare, as witness the Sonnets. We can't afford to pay them enough 
money if they are good so the least we can do for them is to con- 
tent their bellies." The rest of the morning was spent in setting up 
a delicious lunch on a marble slab that Mencken foresightedly had 
shipped from Baltimore and that consisted of stacks of liverwurst, 
pretzels, anchovies, olives, celery and pots of cheese, not to men- 
tion ham sandwiches with mustard, Saratoga chips, and a shotgun 
to frighten ofî Harry Kemp, the Greenwich Village genius who 
was destined to be our most assiduous customer. 

"I hâve always maintained, along with the discoverer of that 
miraculous cure-ail of a bygone century called Teruna' — which 
contained enough alcohol tonic to make an arthritic kangaroo Jump 
into the air like a Mordkin coached by a Russian chiropractor — 
that a man without personal peculiarities was either an unimagina- 
tive clodhopper or, I say it with becoming modesty, a genius." 
Mencken certainly had his share of idiosyncrasies. His favorite 
cigar — which once as a youth he had rolled in his father's cigar 
factory and which bore the name of "Uncle Willie" and cost ail of 
five cents — was the priceless gift he bestowed on his carefully 
chosen acquaintances. Thèse benefactions, each encircled with a 
handsome cigar band voluptuously engraved with the name of 
some three-doUar brand, he would bestow with a flourish upon 
whomever he chose to honor, and always with the words, "I give 
you this token of my esteem which I hâve imported from distant 
parts at a prohibitive cost and with which I beseech you to honor 
me in return by blowing some of the fragrance in my direction." 

342 



MEMOIRS OF MENCKEN AND FITZGERALD 

He insisted that he never felt completely at home and at ease with- 
out a cuspidor nearby, and when we set up office at our magazine 
he brought up from his family's old home in Hollins Street, Balti- 
more, three brass souvenirs that had once been the proud property 
of his paternal grandfather. When our fastidious partner caught 
sight of the ornaments and let out a howl Mencken concihated 
him by conceding to drape, at his own expense, the spittoons with 
cretonne coverings whenever lady authors appeared on the scène. 
He always said that every man ought to feel rich whether he had 
a cent or not to his name and to that end had a habit of distributing 
ten-dollar bills in out-of-the-way corners of his jackets and pants 
pockets. "When I accidentally come upon one of the bills," he as- 
sured me, "I always feel a satisfactory glow come over me and the 
surprise does me no end of good." Whereupon he would lead me 
into the nearest drink house and set them up. 

One of his pet philosophies was, "Whom the gods would destroy 
they first make popular." But, though he was not in the least gre- 
garious, he always got along with people, even those whom he dis- 
liked, and it is a fact that even when he encountered someone he 
elected to consider an enemy, he was soon in comradely arm in arm 
with him and so full of good will and joyous spirits that the imag- 
ined foe soon became a loving friend. 

He hated New York, which he always referred to in his corre- 
spondence as Sodom and Gomorrah, and was always eager to get 
back to his home in Baltimore. When he was in New York, which 
was every other week, it was our custom to walk up Fifth Avenue 
each morning to our offices. "There is nothing like the smell of 
gasoline odors to invigorate one more than the Adirondacks," he 
would observe, "The main trouble with this wicked city of yours 
is that people hère judge and esteem every man according to the 
amount of money he has, which gives me an idea. Let's impress the 
booboisie with our eminence by piling up some big mazuma, which 
should be easy for two such remarkable geniuses as we are, not to 
say crooks." He accordingly, with some éloquent assistance from 
me, concocted a plan to get out a pulp magazine on the side which 
would be such an atrocity that we would hide when any of our 
friends mentioned it in our présence. The magazine which we duly 
published, and which sold out its first issue completely in a single 
day and netted us and our partners a tidy small fortune, was called 

343 



GEORGE JEAN NATHAN 

The Parisienne and catered to the French-American sentimental- 
ists during the First World War. It was adorned with a cover pic- 
turing a saucy French minx and contained frisky tailpieces at the 
bottom of every page consisting of drawings in the manner of 
those adorning the Paris boulevard magazines. Mencken insisted it 
be printed on green paper which, he told the readers in an editorial, 
îike the green grass and billiard tables, was much easier on the eyes 
than the white paper on which other magazines were printed and 
which would guarantee to the readers the welfare of their eyes, 
otherwise risking serions strain and even occasional blindness. The 
paper, because of the shortage imposed upon publishers by the 
restrictions of war, was obtained for us by our senior partner, 
Eugène F. Crowe, the paper tycoon, who was of a humor on a par 
with Mencken's. The paper he got us was, haplessly, so rough 
and so fuU of wood pulp that Mencken allowed that if the readers 
found fault with it they could at least use it for toothpicks. 

Although those who did not know him sometimes mistook 
Mencken's air of suprême self-confidence for brag, he often said 
privately that he considered himself a failure. He was personally a 
modest man about himself, though he said that even if he was not 
modest to the point of self-embarrassment he fully realized his 
potentialities and abilities. He was, indeed, so modest that he al- 
ways — even after he had achieved literary famé and had published, 
among fifty other books, his monumental The American Lajiguage 
— referred to himself as merely a newspaperman. His prankishness, 
however, never deserted him and among his pet diversions was 
affectionately autographing photographs to himself of Otto von 
Bismarck, the German Kaiser and varions American Présidents Iike 
Calvin Coolidge, Martin Van Buren and Abraham Lincoln. His 
best-known hoax was the publication of an article that claimed the 
fîrst bathtub ever to be in use in the White House was installed 
during the Millard Fillmore administration. This news was sol- 
emnly reprinted in the Congressional Record, has been included in 
various encyclopedias and has been popularly accepted as gospel. 

During Prohibition he imported a famous brewmaster from 
the celebrated Pschorrbràu brewery in Munich and installed him 
in the cellar of his Baltimore house. The beverage, which Mencken 
dispense d to his delighted cronies, was eight per cent in alcohol 

344 



MEMOIRS OF MENCKEN AND FITZGERALD 

content and on one occasion it exploded and the brew flooded the 
house of the next-door neighbor. 

Those were the gala days in our friend's life. He said that never 
thereafter did he enjoy himself so hugely. This was true. For when, 
subséquent to our sale of the Smart Set, we as co-editors founded 
The American Mercury with our good friend Alfred A. Knopf, 
a change overcame Mencken and, though he never lost his fondness 
for waggishness, a much more serions attitude infected him. His 
relative sobriety took the alarming form of a consuming editorial 
interest in politics and a dismissal of his previous interest in belles- 
lettres, which had been so great a factor in the prosperity of our 
former periodical. The newspaperman in Mencken superseded the 
literary man and he favored filling the Mercury with pièces writ- 
ten by assorted jailbirds, hobos, politicians and riff-raff of ail spe- 
cies. The magazine, how^ever, largely because of the novelty of 
such material, nevertheless promptly caught on, and though it sold 
for fifty cents and was very expensive to produce (Knopf had a 
new type face manufactured that was so beautiful we found no 
one could read it and also imported an especial celery paper from 
Japan on which to print the magazine), it actually made one dollar 
profit on its first issue. Knopf, incidentally, who is lavish in every- 
thing he undertakes, including unheard-of delicacies at his dinner 
table and shirts so be-hued that they caused Mencken to remark 
that "Alfred must think he is an Easter tgg,'' went along with us 
in complète agreement with whatever course, foolish or otherwise, 
we chose to follow. We didn't, true, go in for such editorial whim- 
sies as, in the case of Smart Set, giving over an entire single issue 
to a full-length novel about an undertaker and his modem methods 
of advertising (including reproductions of his imbécile advertise- 
ments). Nor did Mencken broadcast a request to agents that they 
send us any and ail manuscripts that had been rejected by the 
loftily self-called Quality Group of magazines, namely, The Cen- 
tury, Harper'^s, The Atlantic Monthly, Scrilmer^s, etc., which 
manuscripts gave us our most sensational success, Somerset 
Maugham's Miss Thompson, subsequently dramatized into the mint 
known by the title Rain. Rather, Mencken endorsed such contribu- 
tions as a graph-filled treatise on the population growth in Missis- 
sippi. But, though it seemed to some that a new and unusual grav- 

345 



GEORGE JEAN NATHAN 

ity had been imposed upon him by his new editorial post, his 
former ebullience could not be suppressed. As heretofore, he pro- 
fessed, despite his perfect health, to be always dying and he would 
appear in our ofEce aiïecting the walk of an old Dixie family re- 
tainer suffering from an acute pain in the kidneys. In addition, he 
would counter everyone else's catalogue of ailments with a lengthy 
list of his own. (This was a favorite device of his to spare himself 
the necessity of listening to the others' malaises.) 

"As for me," he would always write to me, "I am enjoying my 
usual décrépitude. A new disease has developed hitherto unknown 
to the faculty. A dermatitis cause d by the plates I wear for my 
arches. No one seems to know how to cure it. I shall thus go limp- 
ing to the crematory. My ailments this morning come to the fol- 
lowing: 

a. A bum on the tongue (healing) 

b. A pimple inside the jaw 
G. A sour stomach 

d. Pain in the prostate 

e. Burning in the gospel pipe (always a preliminary of the hay- 
fever season) 

f . A eut finger 

g. A small pimple inside the nose (going away) 
h. A razor eut, smarting 

i. Tired eyes." 

He was, in short, a walking compendium of mankind's com- 
plaints of ail natures. If it wasn't one thing it was another. When 
he appeared in the office one morning, he loudly lamented that, 
while he did not mind his Negro cook's filching of almost every- 
thing in his icebox to take home, he objected to having to supply 
her with a Ford to cart it away. He allowed that he considered it 
something of an imposition. During Prohibition he complained that 
his favorite béer hall in Union City, New Jersey, had a sign pasted 
on its front window reading: "This place closed by the Prohibition 
Agents," and directly beneath it another adorned with an arrow: 
"Kindly use rear door," thus necessitating his walking, and in his 
décrépit condition, at least thirty feet away. 

Another grouse was that Julius Klein, the violinist at Luchow's 

346 



MEMOIRS OF MENCKEN AND FITZGERALD 

Restaurant in Fourteenth Street, played his favorite Strauss waltzes 
altogether too quickly and that he accordingly could not keep ac- 
curate time with them with his foot. 

W^hen anyone complimented him on the sudden prosperity of 
the Mercury he would reply with his pet rejoinder: "Whom the 
gods would destroy they fîrst make popular." 

"We are pretty good," he would concède to me, "but let's not 
forget that the embalmer may be waiting just around the corner." 

Reverting to his regular complaints, one letter from him had this 
to say: "I hâve been trying to start my new book, but an infection 
in the sinuses has got into my larynx and I am uncomfortable. 
Immer traubel! I begin to give up hope." At another time: "My 
sister is making a really extraordinary recovery; she should recover 
completely. I assume that Fil be the next to be laid up. I pray, but 
without hope." And again: "Hay fever has me by the ear and I 
am making the usual rough weather of it. It seems to be rather more 
severe than usual. What a world!" 

His credo was that we never got a good editorial idea save only 
over a béer table at night, but that the trouble with it was that 
when morning came around the idea proved to be no good. 

His favorite low burlesque comedian was George Bickel and 
when he met Ethel Barrymore and discovered that she shared his 
enthusiasm for the artist he founded a George Bickel Alumni As- 
sociation on the spot, and presently gathered into the fold such of 
the literary elect as Théodore Dreiser, Edgar Lee Masters and 
Joseph Hergesheimer. Having been a dramatic critic in his young 
newspaper days, and having seen only the performances of a stock 
Company in his native Baltimore, he seemed to think that the 
théâtre in his later period was constituted in its entirety mainly 
and only of bad imitations of Ibsen plays and steadfastly refused 
to be lured into it. Reprimanded on one occasion by our friend, 
John D. Wilhams, the Harvard brains of the Charles Frohman 
offices, who insisted that he was a doit for his attitude and who 
assured him that he would change his mind if he were to see a play 
by the great Italian dramatist, Dario Niccodemi, which in truth 
was a horrible turkey, Mencken, impressed, was inveigled not only 
into going to the play but, dressing himself up in evening finery, 
he sat stoically in a box through the performance without saying 

347 



GEORGE JEAN NATHAN 

a word. But at its end he gave Williams a poke in the eye, with the 
words, "That was the most dreadful hogwash that ever poisoned 
my nose!" 

He maintained that the wittiest line that the Smart Set ever 
printed was from an anonymous contributor: "When love dies, 
there is no funeral; the corpse remains in the house." Perhaps his 
own remark that pleasured him most was, "Hamlet has been played 
by 5,000 actors; no wonder he is crazy." 

He professed to be a disciple of Nietzsche's "Be hard!'' philoso- 
phy. But he never failed to spend hours shopping for Christmas 
toys for his little nièce, collecting fancy cigar bands for her, obe- 
diently eating turkey on Thanksgiving Day and getting a tear in 
his eye whenever an orchestra played Roses from the South. 

He always referred to himself and me as "two retired porch 
climbers." 

He was proud of the fact that he had an uncle who still drew a 
pension as a Civil War vétéran. He coniîded that the uncle had 
patriotically suiïered his wounds when Fédéral draft agents en- 
tered a saloon in Baltimore and his uncle slipped on the floor suds 
and broke a leg in trying to évade them. 

Early one afternoon at about this period, our mutual friend, 
T. R. Smith, then managing editor of the Century Magazine, tele- 
phoned Mencken and myself at our office and asked us both to 
come up to his apartment that evening for a drink. When we got 
there, we found with Smith a tall, skinny, paprika-headed stranger 
to whom we were introduced as one Lewis. The fellow was known 
to neither of us save as the author of a negligible sériai that had 
appeared in The Saturday Evening Post and that had subsequently 
been gathered between book covers and, to me specifically, as the 
author of a play called Hobohemia, produced the year before 
down in Greenwich Village and exquisitely — if I may be permitted 
so critically indélicate a word — epizootic. 

Barely had we taken ofï our hats and coats and before Smith had 
an opportunity even to fish out his de luxe corkscrew from behind 
his de luxe sets of the works of the more esoteric Oriental and 
Polack amorists, when the tall, skinny, paprika-headed stranger 
simultaneously coiled one long arm around Mencken's neck and 
the other around mine, well nigh strangling us and putting ré- 
sistance out of the question, and — yelling at the top of his lungs — 

348 



MEMOIRS OF MENCKEN AND FITZGERALD 

began: "So you guys are critics, are you? Well, let me tell you 
something. Fm the best writer in this hère gottdamn country and 
if you, Géorgie, and you, Hank, don't know it now, you'll know 
it gottdamn soon. Say, Fve just finished a book that'll be published 
in a week or two and it's the gottdamn best book of its kind that 
this hère gottdamn country has had and don't you guys forget it! 
I worked a year on the gottdamn thing and it's the goods. l'm 
a-telling you! Listen, when it cornes to writing a novel, Fm so far 
ahead of most of the men you two think are good that FU be gott- 
damned if it doesn't make me sick to think of it! Just wait till you 
read the gottdamn thing. You've got a treat coming, Géorgie and 
Hank, and don't you boys make no mistake about that!" 

Projected from Smith's flat by the self-endorsing uproar — it kept 
up for fully half an hour longer — Mencken and I jumped into a 
taxicab, directed the driver to speed us posthaste to a tavern where 
we might in some peace recover our equilibrium and our eardrums, 
and looked at each other. "Of ail the idiots Fve ever laid eyes on, 
that fellow is the worst!" groaned Mencken, gasping for breath. 
Regaining my own breath some moments later, ail that I could add 
was that if any such numskull could ever write anything worth 
reading, maybe there was something in Christian Science too. 

Three days later I got the foUowing letter from Mencken, who 
had returned to Baltimore: 

"Dear George: Grab hold of the bar rail, steady yourself, for a 
terrible shock! Fve just read the advance sheets of the book of 
that Lump we met at Schmidt's and, by God, he has done the job! 
It's a genuinely excellent pièce of work. Get it as soon as you can 
and take a look. ï begin to believe that perhaps there isn't a God 
after ail. There is no justice in the world. 

"Yours in Xt., 
"M." 

The book was Main Street, the author Sinclair Lewis. 

THE GOLDEN BOY OF THE TWENTIES 

F. SCOTT FITZGERALD ONCE TOLD ME THAT HE PLANNED TO WRITE 

a novel about me. It turned out to be The Beautiful and Da?nned. 

Subsequently he came to me somewhat apologetically and ex- 

plained that he found that he had tried, but could not hâve lionized 

349 



GEORGE JEAN NATHAN 

me in his novel. He said that he found himself unable to write a 
heroic character other than himself and that he had to be the hero 
of any novel he undertook. So I duly discovered that what he 
started as heroic me resulted in a wholly minor and subsidiary char- 
acter not distinguished for any perceptibly favorable attributes. 

On such occasions, if he suspected he had ofïended a friend in 
any way, it was his conciliating gesture to appear at the friend's 
diggings the very next morning and to présent him v^ith one of 
his used old pocket handkerchiefs, not visibly re-laundered. That 
the handkerchief was embroidered with his initiais did not notably 
impress the récipient. 

Despite his personal vanity, Scott's life was wrapped up in his 
lovely young wife who was born Zelda Sayre in Alabama and 
whom he met as a young Lieutenant in an Army Training Camp 
in Kentucky. This Zelda, conscious of her beauty, was something 
of an exhibitionist and was given to such whimsies as disrobing 
herself in the Grand Central Station. 

On one occasion, indeed, she went to the extrême of getting into 
the bathtub during a house party at the undergraduate club at 
Princeton to which Scott belonged and inviting the house guests 
en masse to come in and revel in her pulchritude, bringing about 
her husband's suspension from the club and causing a campus 
scandai of sizable proportions. 

On an earlier occasion, Scott allowed that she had divested her- 
self of her clothing and had stood in the middle of the railroad 
tracks in Birmingham, Alabama, and had waved a lantern and 
brought the startled passengers scurrying out of the stalled express 
train. Scott loved to recount the épisode in a tone of rapturous 
admiration. 

Another incident of Zelda's exhibitionism was one that Scott 
used to remember with considerably less relish. 

One night our friend, John Williams, the noted theatrical pro- 
ducer, gave a small dinner party in his apartment just ofï Union 
Square. During it the fair Zelda abruptly took ofï for a splash in the 
Union Square fountain. Followed by Williams and her husband in 
hot pursuit, she was encountered there in her birthday clothes 
surrounded by at least a dozen frantically indignant cops. 

When Scott sought to intercède with them and to explain to 
them that it was his wife who was doing the Godiva act, they 

350 



MEMOIRS OF MENCKEN AND FITZGERALD 

pushed him aside and informed him that he was on the way to the 
hoosegow. At this point, Williams ventured to explain to them who 
their potential jailbird was, whereupon one of the cops, who mis- 
took Scott for Ed Fitzgerald, the popular radio comedian of the 
time, deemed his pleasure at meeting Scott and allowed that the 
lady in the fountain miist accordingly be the comedian's wife, 
Pegeen. This managed to assuage the cops' wrath and to spare Scott 
and his wife the humiliation of arrest for disorderly conduct. 

In his biography on Fitzgerald which is full of distortions of 
the truth, Arthur Mizner, currently a professor at Cornell, allèges 
that I once tried to flirt with Zelda and so enraged Scott that he 
engaged me in a furious fist fight. The facts are far différent. While 
Zelda and I were accustomed to engage publicly in obviously ex- 
aggerated endearing terms which Scott appreciated and which 
were in the accepted vein of Dixie chivalry, our close friendship 
was never interrupted. 

The subject of our intimate explorations was résolu te ly fastidi- 
ous. Scott would hâve it no other way. It was said of him during 
his undergraduate days that he sent out questionnaires to prospec- 
tive féminine dates as to (i) whether they had had their hair 
washed during the day, and (2) how many baths they had taken. 

He once aroused the wrathful indignation of the colored eleva- 
tor boys in the New York hôtel at which he was staying by con- 
fining their tips at Christmastime to fancily wrapped bottles of a 
well-known déodorant. I can further testify from personal obser- 
vation that it was his habit, to their consternation, to demand of 
any female companion in taxicabs that they open their mouths so 
he might détermine that the insides of their teeth were free of 
tartar. 

A one-time close friend of his mother has confided to me that, 
as a baby, he not only cried for Pear's soap but ate it, and with 
what seemed to be relish. 

Once in Paris he burst into my hôtel room in the early dawn, 
pulled me out of bed and proclaimed that he had just read the work 
of a new to him American writer named Hemingway who prom- 
ised to be the greatest of his génération. 

When in his cups it was his drollery to descend upon my work- 
ing quarters in company with his friends Edmund (Bunny) Wil- 
son, the now celebrated literary critic whom he deeply admired for 

351 



GEORGE JEAN NATHAN 

his critical gifts, Donald Ogden Stewart, Ed Paramore and Edna 
St. Vincent Millay, ail in a more or less exalte d state, and to occupy 
his talents in applying matches to the rubber bindings on the pil- 
lows on my sofa. Their howls of glee when the rubber started to 
stench up the place could be heard a block away and were 
matched by my less gleeful own. 

Scotty, as he was familiarly called, visualized himself as the 
banner-carrier of the youth of his génération and was such an 
admirer and célébrant of youth for its own sake that, although he 
was polite and even deferential to his elders, whom he usually 
addressed as "sir," it was clearly évident that he privately con- 
sidered them ail and sundry on the way to an Old Man's Home 
or ready for the embalmer. 

The only évidence of his being interested — and then strictly 
platonically — in any female of the species apart from his wife was 
an absurdly young, personable actress named Lois Moran. She was 
a lovely kid of such tender years that it was rumored she still wore 
the kind of flannel nightie that bound around her ankles with rib- 
bons and Scott never visited her save when her mother was présent. 

Once, while I was spending a week-end with him and Zelda in 
their Connecticut house, the racket made by the house party lasted 
so long into the night that I had to get up at dawn and, seeking quiet, 
went down into the cellar. Rummaging about, I came upon some 
notebooks marked "Zelda's Diary" and looked through them. They 
interested me so greatly that in my then capacity as a magazine 
editor I later made her an ofïer for them. When I informed her 
husband, he said that he could not permit me to publish them since 
he had gained a lot of inspiration from them and wanted to use 
parts of them in his own novels and short stories, as for example, 
"The Jelly Beau." 

There was just one important occasion on which Fitzgerald con- 
sulted me in the matter of research on subjects which he was 
writing about. 

It was during that fantastic era known as Prohibition, when 
he was beginning work on his highly regarded novel, The Great 
Gatsby . 

Fitzgerald's plan was to be a novel about a fabulously rich Pro- 
hibition operator who lived luxuriously on Long Island and he 
asked me to introduce him to such persons I happened to know 

352 



MEMOIRS OF MENCKEN AND FITZGERALD 

who might supply him with proper patterns and the necessary 
atmospheric détails. 

When I duly made him known to one such, Nicky Bâtes, who, 
except for an habituai spruce and natty shirt, closely resembled 
the présent Yogi Berra, he protested that it was not at ail what he 
was looking for and that he hoped I would put him into touch with 
a glossier spécimen doser to the type upon which he sought to 
model his character. 

On a subséquent week-end I accordingly took him to a house 
party on Long Island at which were gathered some of the more 
notorious speakeasy operators and their décorative girl friends. 
When we departed the scène, Fitzgerald objected that this, again, 
was not what he wanted and that I was guilty of playing a joke on 
him and introducing him to a party of Wellesley girls and their 
Rutgers boy friends. 

Fitzgerald was spoiled by too early success. His fîrst novel, This 
Side of Faradise, which he wrote when he flunked out of Princeton, 
was an immédiate success and netted him in excess of forty-odd 
thousand dollars. He afterward expected every other one of his 
books to be a like success and lived up to what he imagined would 
be his subséquent income. He could not understand why every- 
thing that followed was not as fînancially rosy and, though he 
never lost confidence in himself, one could readily detect his dis- 
appointment and even indignation. 

"I am writing better than ever before," he once said to me, "and, 
though they seem still to like my stuff, public taste would appear 
to be not so good as it once had been." 

Fitzgerald so regarded his popular acceptance as the logical thing 
that when he entered a smart restaurant or even a roadside hot dog 
stand he was ruffled if the waiter or counterman did not greet him in 
terms otherwise befitting a candidate for the Presidency. He was, 
however, in the habit of soothing the oiïender's embarrassment over 
his delinquency by slipping him a gratuity, which paid off in terms 
of the embarrassed servitor's additional protestations that he had 
committed a dreadful faux pas in having failed to recognize Fitz- 
gerald as the eminento which he was. 

If any man may be said to hâve died of a broken heart Scott was 
that one. 

353 



GEORGE JEAN NATHAN 

He, himself, was aware of what had befallen him since the in- 
capacity of his dearly beloved wife and his surrender to Holly- 
wood, and he described it without reserve in a séries of utterly 
frank confessions which he wrote for one of the popular maga- 
zines. Zelda's death lef t Scott in a state from which he never f ully re- 
covered. He himself died ultimately forsaken, save for a féminine 
friend (now a noted Hollywood columnist) who had befriended 
him and consoled him in his dying moments. 

Yet, hère was a writer who adorned his period with some last- 
ingly lovely writing, with a very true romance in a time of so much 
questionable reaiism and, not least of ail, with his own warm and 
friendly company. 

What will be the final estimate of him I do not know, but, far 
from being what has been described as "someone who once kissed 
a Gibson GirI and told," he left his mark on a génération that will 
long remember him with deep and tender affection. 



354 



Avvcnàix 



"A few comments on our methodology are in order. In addition to listing 
contributors aiphabetically and individual contributions chronologically, the 
compilers hâve also attempted to iocate subséquent reprintings. The search 
was as thorough as possible, but it did not lead into the bewildering jumble 
of paperbacks or allied ephemera. The sélection of contributors was based on 
(1) contemporary importance and (2) continued importance to literature. 
However unbiased such a list may be deemed, it inevitably becomes Per- 
sonal, and thus the reader is advised that undoubtedly some names of im- 
portance were omitted." 

— E.R.H. and J.E.M. 



A CHECK-LIST OF CONTRIBUTIONS 

OF LITERARY IMPORT TO ESQUIRE 
1933-1958 



Franklin Plerce ADAMS (1881- ) 

"A Gênerons Gentleman of Character." 

XVII (March, 1942) , 52, 104. Article; on John 

Kieran of "Information Please"; uncol- 

lected. 

^'Horatio Alger, Jr." XXVI (September, 

1946), 80, 185-186. Article; imcollected. 

George ADE (1866-1944) 

"A Treatise on Pie." I (Autumn, 1933), 20, 

86. Article; uncoUected. 

"The White Ewe." I (January, 1934), 32, 

145, 150, 154. One-act play; uncoUected. 

Alfred ADLER (1870-1937) 
"Love is a Récent Invention." V (May, 
1936), 56, 128. Article; uncoUected. 
"Training School for Lovers." VI (Septem- 
ber, 1936), 57, 197-198. Article; uncoUected. 

"Bankrupts of Love." VI (December, 1936), 
109, 321. Article; uncoUected. 
Mortimer Jérôme ADLEE (1902- ) 
"How to Talk Sensé in Company." XXI 
( June, 1944) , 59, 171-176. Article; uncoUected. 

Conrad Potter AIKEÎf (1889- ) 
"Fly Away Ladybird." II (November, 1934) , 
50, 167. Short story; coUected in The Arm- 
chair Esquire. 

" 'Prélude' and 'Prospect.' " III (June, 1935), 
36. Two poems; "Prélude," without title, col- 
lected in Aiken, Time in the Rock (N. Y.; 
Scribner's, 1936), p. 102. 
"The Two-a-Day." IV (December, 1935) , 62. 
Three poems; "Frost and Nye," "Sterretts," 
and "Curtain"; uncoUected. 

«A Pair of Vikings." XV (March, 1941) , 30, 
132-136. Short story; coUected in The Short 
Stories of Conrad Aiken (N.Y.: Duell, 1950). 

Richard ALDIN(ÏTON (1892- ) 
"Towers of Manhattan." V (AprU, 1936) , 96. 
Poem; not coUected in The Complète Poem,s 
of Richard Aldington (London; Wingate, 
1948). 



"Going Native Nearby." XIII (February, 
1940), 56, 100. Article; uncoUected. 
"Errant Knight of Capri." XVI (December, 
1941), 74, 230-231. Article; on Norman Doug- 
las; uncoUected. 

"They Come Back Différent." XX (Decem- 
ber, 1943), 64-65, 289-294. Short story; un- 
coUected. 

Nelson ALGKEN (1909- ) 

"This Table on Time Only." XIII (March, 

1940), 78-79. Poem; uncoUected. 

"The Captain Is a Card." XVH (June, 1942). 
50-51, 162-163. Short story; included in "Roll 
of Honor [1942]," Martha Foley, éd., The 
Best American Short Stories of 1943 (Bos- 
ton: Houghton Mifflin, 1943); incorporated 
into Algren, Never Come Moming (N.Y.: 
Putnam's, 1942); and coUected in Gingrich, 
éd., The Esquire Treasury (N.Y.: Simon & 
Schuster, 1953); and in Gingrich and Hills, 
eds., The Armchair Esquire (N. Y.: Put- 
nam's, 1958). 

"Good-by to Old Rio." L (August, 1958), 
80-81. Short story; uncoUected. 

Frederick Lewis ALLEN (1890-1954) 
"Pomp and Circumstance." XXXII (De- 
cember, 1949), 80, 175-180. Article; appears 
as Chapter 10 in Allen, The Great Pierpont 
Morgan (N. Y.: Harper, 1949). 

"A Réminiscence of a Golden Décade." 
XXXVI (December, 1951), 79, 223-226. Arti- 
cle; on the Golden Twenties; uncoUected. 

Hervey ALLEN (1889-1949) 

"Christmas on the Old Post Road." XXXII 

(December, 1949), 98-103. Article; uncol- 

lected. 

Sherwood ANDERSON (1876-1941) 
"The Good Life at Hedgerow." VI (October, 
1936) , 51, 198A-199. Article; coUected as In- 
troduction to Anderson, Plays: Wineshurg 
and Others (N. Y.: Scribner's, 1937). 



EXPLANATORY NOTES ON REFERENCES & ABBREVIATIONS 

(Numbered in reading séquence) 

X — Authors listed alphabetically, with years of birth and death immediately folio wing in 
parenthèses. 

2 — Title of the sélection within quotation marks; titles listed chronologically, in order of 
date of appearance in the magazine. 

3 — Magazine's volume number, a large Roman numéral. Each number represents one half- 
year of the magazine's issues. 

4 — Date of issue, month and year, within parenthèses. 

5 — Page numbers in magazine on which sélection appears. 

6 — If the sélection has never been reprinted or coUected since its appearance in the magazine, 
the Word "uncoUected" appears. If sélection was reprinted, perhaps in a volume collection 
of the author's short stories, or perhaps in some other anthology, this fact is mentioned — 
naming title of book and, in parenthèses, place of publication, name of publishing com- 

ϻany (usually in abridged form), year of publication, 
n many cases, interesting variations between the version that appeared in Esquire and 
the version that appeared in some subséquent book are specified. 



Antheil — 



«Hère They Corne." XIII (Mardi, 1940), 80- 
81. Article; on harness racing; coUected in 
Herbert Graffis, éd., Esquire's First Sports 
Reader (N.Y.: Barnes, 1945). 

Georg-e ANTHEIL (1900- ) 

"The Last Year of the Great War." XVII 

(April, 1942), 27, 168-169. Article; uncol- 

lected. 

Benjamin APPEL (1907- ) 

"Killing Time on the Big Stem." I (May, 

1934), 109, 113, 115. Short story; uncollected. 

"Property Protected." VII (March, 1937) , 98, 
132. Short story; uncollected. 

Micîiael ARLEN (1895-1956) 
"The Golden Dummy." XXXVIII (Septem- 
ber, 1952), 34-35, 112-116. Short story; un- 
collected. 

Louis ARMSTBONG (1900- ) 
"Jazz on a High Note." XXXVI (December, 
1951), 85, 209-212. Article; autobiographical 
notes on his jazz records; uncollected. 

Sholera ASCH (1880-1957) 
"The Red Hat." I (April, 1934), 48-49, 100. 
[Tïans. Ernest Boyd.] Short story; uncol- 
lected. 

Justin Brooks ATKIIVSOIV (1894- ) 
"Put This in Your Pipe." XXVI (December, 
1946), 105, 351-355. Article; uncollected. 

Wystan Jingh AUDEN (1907- ) 

"The More Loving One." XLIX (April, 

1958), 82. Poem; tmcollected. 

Joseph AUSLANDER (1897- ) 

"Exit at the Morgue." I ( Autumn, 1933) , 43. 

Poem; uncollected. 

"Tlie Show-Up." I (January, 1934), 77. 
Poem; uncollected. 

Alfred Tliornton BAKER (1915- ) 
"The Roistering Legend of Dylan Thomas." 
XLVni (December, 1957), 201-209. Article; 
uncollected. 

Benys Val BAKER (1917- ) 
"Passenger to Liverpool." XXV (January, 
1946), 108, 228-234. Short story; included in 
"The RoU of Honor [1946]," Martha Foley, 
éd., The Best American Short Stories of 
1947 (Boston, 1947); and in Baker, Worlds 
Without End (London: Sylvan, 1945). 

Henri BARBUSSE (1874-1935) 

"Against the Impending War." III (January, 

1935), 26, 151. Article; uncollected. 

John BARTH (1930- ) 

"The Remobilization of Jacob Horner." 

L (July, 1958), 55-59. Chapter from novel: 

The End of the Road (N. Y.: Doubleday, 

1958). 

Joseph Hamilton BASSO (1904- ) 
"The Man Who Made Peace." XVI (August, 
1941) , 64, 135-136. Short story; uncollected. 

"The Other Side of the River." XVII (May, 
1942), 54, 160-164. Short story; uncollected. 



Herbert Ernest BATES (1905- ) 
"A Story Without an End." I (April, 1934), 
68, 144, 148. Short story; collected in Bâtes, 
The Woman Who Had Imagination (N. Y.: 
Macmillan, 1934). 

"The Spriv's Master." II (August, 1934), 54- 
55, 120. Short story; uncollected. 
"Jonah and Bnmo." V (January, 1936), 49, 
194-195. Short story; collected in Bâtes, Cut 
and Come Again (London: Cape, 1935). 
Ralph BATES (1899- ) 
"In the Midst of Death We Live." X (Octo- 
ber, 1938), 64-65, 158-160. Short story; col- 
lected as "Guadarrama Ballad" in Bâtes, 
Sirocco (N. Y.: Random House, 1939). 
Lucius Morris BEEBE (1902- ) 
"The Régal Rolls-Royce." XUII (June, 
1955) , 63, 147-148, 150. Article; uncollected. 
Thomas BEER (1889-1940) 
"Must Memory Be Révèrent?" II (August, 
1934) , 31. Article; imcollected. 

Brendan BEHAN (1924?- ) 

"The Quare Fellow: Act One." XLVIII 

(August, 1957), 24-33. A play (in part); with 

illustrations; published complète and under 

same title, N. Y., 1957. 

Samuel Nathaniel BEHRMAIV (1893- ) 

"Rest, But Not in Peace." XLIX (February, 

1958), 41-42. Short story; uncollected. 

Saul BELLOW (1915- ) 
"Leaving the Yellow House." XLIX (Jan- 
uary, 1958) , 112, 114, 116, 119-126. Short story; 
collected in The Armchair Esquire. 

IVathaniel BENCHLEY (1915- ) 
"Surprise Party." XL (October, 1953), 82- 
83, 152-155. Short story; uncollected. 

"An Hour for Lunch." XL (December, 1953) , 
129, 233-235. Short story; uncollected. 

"We'll Do Whatever You Want." XLVIII 
(July, 1957) , 69-71. Short story; uncollected. 

Stephen Vincent BENET (1898-1943) 
"We Aren't Superstitions." VII (May, 1937) , 
47, 212, 214, 216, 218-219. Article; on the 
Salem witch trials; collected in H. W. Hintz 
and B. D. N. Grebanier, eds., Modem Amer- 
ican Vistas (N. Y.: Dryden, 1940). 

William Rose BENÊT (1886-1950) 
"Rowdy-Ditty of Horizontal Man." V 
(March, 1936), 88. Poem; uncollected. 

Konrad BERCOVICI (1882- ) 

"Pledge of the Dibras." XVII (March, 1942), 

54-55, 176. Short story; uncollected. 

Alvah Cecil BESSIE (1904- ) 
"Profession of Pain." III (May, 1935), 46, 
125. Short story; uncollected. 

"Man With Wings." XIV (July, 1940), 81, 
184-186. Short story; uncollected. 

Richard Pike BISSELL (1913- ) 
"Storm on the Mississippi." XL (November, 
1953), 84, 146. Article; uncollected. 



— Caldwell 



Maxwell BODENHEIM (1893-1954) 
"Sincerely Yours, Culture." VIII (October, 
1937), 74. Four untitled sonnets; collected 
under same gênerai title in Bodenheim, 
Lights in the Valley (N. Y.: Harbinger 
House, 1942). 

"A Sister Writes." XX (November, 1943), 
120. Poem; uncollected. 
Anthony BOUCHES [Wimara Anthony 
Parker White] (1911- ) 
"Nine-Finger Jack." XXXV (May, 1951), 
54, 104. Short story; collected in McCloy and 
Halliday, eds., Twenty Great Taies of Mur- 
der (N. Y.: Random House, 1951); and in 
Bleiler and Dikty, eds., Best Science Fiction 
Stories: 1952 (N.Y.: Garden City, 1952). 

Paul Frédéric BOWLES (1911- ) 

"A Gift for Kinza." XXXV (March, 1951), 

56, 119-121. Short story; uncollected. 

Ernest Aug-ustus BOYD (1887-1946) 
"Songs That Mother Used to Sing." II (July, 
1935) , 34, 119-120. Article; uncollected. [Boyd 
was then one of the editors of American 
SpectatorJ 

"Did the Germans Fool Us?" XV (January, 
1941) , 24-25. Article; uncollected. 

Eay BRABBURY (1920- ) 

"The Iftustrated Man." XXXIV (July, 1950), 

49, 132-136. Short story; coUected in Brad- 

bury, The Illustrated Man (N. Y.: Double- 

day Doran, 1951) ; and in The Esquire Treas- 

ury. 

"The Great Hallucmation." XXXIV (No- 
vember, 1950), 68, 151-155. Short story; un- 
collected. 

"Mars Is Heaven." XXXIV (December, 
1950), 96-97, 163-164, 166, 168, 170, 172. Short 
story; collected in Bleiler and Dikty, eds.. 
Science Fiction Omnibus: The Best Science 
Fiction Stories, 1949, 1950 (N. Y.: Garden 
City, 1951). 

"The Last Night of the World." XXXV 
(February, 1951) , 41. Short short story; col- 
lected in The Illv^trated Man. 

"The Immortality of Horror." XXXVI (No- 
vember, 1951) , 102, 153-157. Short story; un- 
collected. 

"A Pièce of Wood." XXXVII (June, 1952), 
63, 125. Short story; uncollected. 

"The Gift." XXXVIII (December, 1952), 111. 
Short short story; uncollected. 

"The Playground." XL (October, 1953), 58- 
59, 129-133. Short story; collected in Brad- 
bury, Fahrenheit 451 (N. Y.: Houghton 
Mifflin, 1953). 

"The Meadow." XL (December, 1953), 85, 
185-186, 188, 190. Short story; collected in 
Bradbury, The Golden Apples of the Sun 
(N. Y.: Doubleday Doran, 1953). 
"Interval in Sunlight." XLI (March, 1954), 
46, 96, 98-99. Short story; uncoUected. 



"The Dragon." XLTV (August, 1955), 61. 

Short short story; uncollected. 

Roark BRADFORD (1896-1948) 

"Three Times Seven." IV (September, 1935), 

32-33, 169-170. Short story; uncollected. 

Note: in ail, Bradford published eight pièces 

in Esquire, 1935-1948. 

Louis BROMFIELD (1896-1956) 
"The Shame of Our CoUeges." XXXIX 
(March, 1953) , 33-34, 94. Article; uncoUected. 
Thomas Kite BROWN, III (1916- ) 
"The Valley of the Shadow." XXIV (July, 
1945), 32-33, 112, 114. Short story; collected 
in The Best American Short Stories of 
1946 (Boston: Houghton D/Eifflin, 1946); and 
in The Esquire Treasury. 

"Holy Day." XLV (May, 1956) , 82, 84. Short 
story; uncollected. 

"A Drink of Water." XLVI (September, 

1956), 50, 89, 91, 94, 96, 103-104. Short story; 

uncollected. 

Ivan BUNIN (1870-1953) 

"A Night at Sea." I (May, 1934) , 30, 156, 162. 

Short story; collected in Bunin, Grammar of 

Love (N. Y.: Smith & Haas, 1934). [Trans. 

John Cournos.] 

Whit BURNETT (1899- ) 
"One of Those Literary Guys." I (February, 
1934), 89, 93. Short story; collected in 
Bumett, The Maker of Signs (N. Y.: Smith 
& Haas, 1934). 

"Whither the Beard?" XLIII (April, 1955), 
75, 136. Article; uncollected. 
William Riley BURNETT (1899- ) 
"For Charity's Sake." II (June, 1934), 29, 
141-142. Short story; uncollected. 

"Greyhound Racing." V (February, 1936), 
81, 134, 136. Article; uncollected. 
Witter Harold BYNNER (1881- ) 
"A Quartet of Maies." II (August, 1934) , 35. 
Four poems: "Benedick," "Oats," "Philan- 
derer," and "Widower"; "Widower" col- 
lected in Bynner, Selected Poems, éd. Rob- 
ert Hunt (N. Y.: Knopf, 1943). 
James Mallahan CAIN (1892- ) 
"Pay-Ofï Girl." XXXVIII (August, 1952), 
30, 108-109. Short story; xmcollected. 
Ersklne Preston CALDWELL (1903- ) 
"August Afternoon." I (Autumn, 1933), 22, 
89, 110. Short story; collected in H. S. Canby, 
éd., Stories hy Erskine Caldwell (N. Y.: 
Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1944) ; and in Cald- 
well Caravan (Cleveland: World, 1946). 

"The Sick Horse." I (March, 1934), 32, 138. 
Short story; collected in The Complète 
Stories of Erskine Caldwell (N. Y.: Duell, 
Sloan and Pearce, 1941). 

"Martha Jean." III (January, 1935), 50, 140. 
Short story; collected in Kneel to the Ris- 
ing Sun (N. Y.: Viking, 1935) ; and in Com- 
plète Stories, 



Callaghan — 



«Candy-Man." III (Febniary, 1935), 39, 146. 
Short story; coUected as "Candy-Man 
Beechum" in Kneel to the Rising Sun and 
in Complète Stories. 

*'Return to Lavinia." IV (December, 1935), 
50, 185-186. Short story; coUected in Cald- 
well, Southways (N. Y.: Viking, 1938); and 
in Complète Stories. 

"The People vs. Abe Lathan, Colored." XII 
(August, 1939), 26-27, 145. Short story; col- 
lected in E. J. O'Brien, éd., The Best Short 
Stories of 1940 (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 
1940); and in CoTnplete Stories. 

"Squire Dinwiddy." XV (January, 1941), 
33, 131. Short story; coUected in Complète 
Stories. 

"Figurines of Love." XXXIX (May, 1953), 
56, 108-109. Short story; coUected as "Girl 
with Figurines" in Caldwell, Gulf Coast 
Stories (Boston: Little, Brown, 1956). 
"To the Chaparral." XL (December, 1953), 
151, 236-237. Short story; coUected in Gulf 
Coast Stories. 

"My Twenty-Five Years of Censorship." 
L (October, 1958), 176-178. Article; on the 
censorship history of God's Little Acre; 
uncoUected. 

Morley Edward CALLAGHAN (1903- ) 
"Let Me Promise You." I (Autumn, 1933), 
15, 86. Short story; coUected in CMlaghan, 
Now That April's Hère (N. Y.: Random 
House, 1936). Note: in aU, CaUaghan pub- 
lished sixteen stories in Esquire, 1933-1952. 

Albert CAMUS (1913- ) 
"The Spirit of Algiers." XL (December, 
1953), 92, 191-192. Article; coUected in The 
Armchair Esquire. 

"The Growing Stone." XUX (February, 
1958) , 111-121. Short story; coUected in Exile 
and the Kingdom (N. Y.: Knopf, 1958). 

Cari Lamson CABMER (1893- ) 

"And It ShaU Be Given." ÎV (August, 1935), 

56-57, 103. Short story; uncoUected. 

Tard Vincent CARROLL (1900- ) 
"Home Sweet Home." XI (January, 1939), 
41, 153-154. Short story; uncoUected. 

Joyce CARY (1888-1957) 

"Christmas in Africa." XL (December, 

1953) , 101, 208. Article; uncoUected. 

"The Limit." XLI (June, 1954), 43. Short 
short story; uncoUected. 

"Rush River." XLII (July, 1954), 40, 106- 
107. Short story; uncoUected. 

B. V. CASSILL (1919- ) 

"The Sunday Painter." XLVIII (November, 

1957), 164-171. Short story; uncoUected. 

James CHARTERS (1897- ) 

"The White Winers." II (August, 1934), 42- 

43, 126. Article; autobiographie; the last of 



a séries by a Paris bartender in which he 
chats about Norman Douglas, Hemingway, 
Gordon Craig, Pound, Sinclair Lewis, and 
Ford Madox Ford; coUected in Charters, 
This Must he the Place. Memoirs of Mont- 
parnasse (London: H. Joseph, 1934). Intro. 
by Ernest Hemingway. [A caricature of the 
principals is printed with the article, pp. 
42-43.] 

Paddy CHAYEFSKY (1923- ) 

"The Goddess." XLIX (March, 1958), 96- 

129. Screenplay; uncoUected. 

Ann CHIDESTER (1919- ) 

"The QuaUty of Revenge." XXXIX (June, 

1953), 107, 132-134. Short story; uncoUected. 

Allen CHURCHILL (1911- ) 

"Portrait of a Nobel Prize Winner as a 

Bum." XLVII (June, 1957), 98-101. Article; 

on Eugène O'Neill; uncoUected. 

Stuart CLOETE (1897- ) 

"The Number 4 Gun." XVH (April, 1942), 

34, 107. Short story; uncoUected. Note: in ail, 

Cloete published nine stories in Esquire, 

1942-1956. 

Robert Myron COATES (1897- ) 
"The Cows Jumped over the Moon." XXIX 
(February, 1948), 71. Short short story; 
uncoUected. 

"Saturday and the Past." XXXIII (June, 
1950), 89, 128. Short story; uncoUected. 
"The Subject of a Dream: A Fable." XLIX 
(June, 1958), 150-156. Short story; uncol- 
lected. 

Irvin Shrewsbury COBB (1876-1944) 
"The Moral Léopard." I (January, 1934) , 50, 
111-112. Short story; coUected in Cobb, 
Faith, Hope and Charity, (Indianapolis: 
Bobbs, 1934). 

"Ace, Deuce, Ten Spot, Joker." I (February, 
1934) , 48-49, 114; Part One: "The Ten Spot." 
I (March, 1934), 64-65; Part Two: "The 
Deuce." Short story; coUected in Faith, 
Hope and Charity. 

Robert Peter Tristram COFFIIV (1892-1955) 
"Christmas in New England." XXXII (De- 
cember, 1949), 75-77. Article; uncoUected. 

Lester COHEIS^ (1901- ) 

"The Man Who Laughed Too Much." XLIII 

(February, 1955), 99-106. Novelette; uncol- 

lected. 

Padraic COLUM (1881- ) 

"George Moore, Esquire." V (March, 1936), 

62, 127. Article; uncoUected. 

Evan S. COIS^NELL, Jr. (1924- ) 
"Crash Landing." XLIX (February, 1958), 
59-63. Short story; uncoUected. 

Barnaby CONRAD (1922- ) 
"The Greatest BuUfight Ever." XXIX 
(April, 1948), 62, 142-143. Article; coUected 
in The Esquire Treasury. 



— Di Donato 



"The Visitors." XXXVIII (November, 1952), 

51, 111-112. Short story; uncollected. 

Jack CONKOY (1899- ) 

"Happy Birthday for You." VII (January, 

1937), 74, 156. Short story; uncollected. 

Alfred Edgar COPPARD (1878-1957) 

"Lucy in Her Pmk Jacket." XL (December, 

1953) , 149, 169-170, 172, 174, 176. Short story; 

uncollected. 

Norman Lewis CORWIN (1910- ) 

"Candid Cameragraphs. Three Poems." V 

(January, 1936) , 112. Poems: "Boy Retiring," 

"Street (jorner," and "Realist Reading a 

Sonnet Séquence"; uncollected. 

Malcolm COWLEY 

"The Léopard in Hart Crane's Brow." L 

(October, 1958). Article; on Hart Crâne; 

uncollected. 

Ted CRONEE (1922- ) 
"The Mind of the Playwright: A Conversa- 
tion with Elmer Rice." XL VII ( April, 1957) , 
66-67, 140. Article; an interview with the 
plaj^vright; uncollected. 

"The Mind of the Playwright: A Conversa- 
tion with Lindsay and Grouse." XLVIII 
(July, 1957), 36-38. Article; an interview 
with the playwrights; uncollected. 

Edward Estlin CUMMIÎfGS (1894- ) 
"Five Poems." III (May, 1935), 39. Poems: 
"that which we who're alive," "sh estiffl," 
"o," "sonnet entitled how to run the 
world)," and "IN) / ail those who got"; 
coUected in Cummings, No Thanks (N. Y.: 
Grolden Eagle Press, 1935), and in Cum- 
mings, Poems: 1923-1954 (N. Y.: Harcourt, 
1954). 

"Exit the Boob." III (June, 1935), 33, 155. 
Article; collected in The Armchair Esquire. 
Roald DAHL (1916-1953) 
"Parson's Pleasure." XLIX (April, 1958), 
148-161. Short story; uncollected. 
Salvador DALI (1904- ) 
"Total Camouflage for Total War." XVIII 
(August, 1942), 65-66, 130. Article; uncol- 
lected. 

Clarence DARSOW (1857-1938) 

"Attorney for the Défense." V (May, 1936), 

36-37, 211-213. Article; collected in W. H. and 

K. C. Cordell, eds., American Points of 

View, 1936 (N. Y.: Doubleday, Doran, 1937); 

and in Bedside Esquire. 

Mïijs BAVIES (1903- ) 

"Mouming for lanto." VII (February, 1937) , 

92-93, 148. Short story; collected in E. J, 

O'Brien, éd., The Best British Short Stories 

of 1937 (Boston; Houghton MiJïïin, 1937) ; and 

in Davies, Boy With a Trumpet (N. Y.: 

Doubleday, 1951). 

Gen. Charles André Joseph Marie DE 

GAULLE (1890- ) 

"De Gaulle on Willkie, F.D.R., and Ike." 

L (October, 1958), 119-120. Sections, in 



advance of publication, from his Memoirs 
de Guerre, Vol. IL 
David Cornel DE JOIVG (1905- ) 
"Going the Whole Way." I (May, 1934), 76, 
128, 131. Short story; uncollected. 
"Calling in the Night." VI (October, 1936), 
80-81, 166-168. Short story; collected in De 
Jong, Snow-on-the-Mountain (N. Y.: Rey- 
nal & Hitchcock, 1946). 

"Minding the Calves." XII (August, 1939), 
38-39, 119. Short story; collected as "Calves" 
in Harry Hansen, éd., O. Henry Meinorial 
Prize Stories of 1939 (N. Y.: Doubleday, 
Doran, 1939). [Awarded 3rd Prize.] 
"A Point of Honor." XIII (January, 1940), 
73, 164-165. Short story; uncollected. 

Alexander Procofieffi DE SEVEKSKY 

(1894- ) 

"Mitchell Mémorial." XVIII (December, 
1942), 141-166. Article; reproductions of 
newspaper clippings of Mitchell's career 
with commentary by the author; uncol- 
lected. 

Peter DE TRIES (1910- ) 
"Art's a Funny Thing." V (February, 1936) , 
59, 124, 127. Satirical ^etch; uncollected. 
"I, Voluptuary." VI (December, 1936), 82, 
245-246, 248, 250. Short story; uncollected. 
"Man on the Street" VII (April, 1937), 100, 
140, 142. Satirical sketch; uncollected. 

"Rhapsody for a Girl on a Bar Stool." VIII 
(November, 1937), 48-49. Pœm; uncollected. 

"Songs for Eight O'Clock." IX (February, 
1938), 40-41. Four untitled poems; uncol- 
lected. 

"Song for a Bride." IX (June, 1938), 36. 
Poem; uncollected. 

"Lament at Thirty." XI (January, 1939) , 38. 
Poem; uncollected. 

"The Floorwalker Attends a Slide Lecture 
on Gauguin." XII (September, 1939), 28. 
Poem; uncollected. 

"Teach a Child the V/ay." XVIII (Novem- 
ber, 1941) , 42-43, 126. Satirical sketch; uncol- 
lected. 

"Conversion of Thunderpuss." XVI (Octo- 
ber, 1942), 87, 113-116. Short story; uncol- 
lected. 

"Larder Ex Libris." XXX (December, 1948), 
130. Article; uncollected. 
Reuel DENNEY 

"Individuality and the New Leisure." L 
(October, 1958), 78, 91. Article; uncollected. 
Pietro DI DONATO (1911- ) 
"Christ in Concrète." VII (March, 1937), 
40-41, 194-196. Short story; first version of 
the novel by the same name; collected in 
The Best Short Stories of 1938; and in E. J. 
O'Brien, éd., Fifty Best American Short 
StoHes, 1915-1939 (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 
1939); and in Bedside Esquire. 



Dobie — 



"It's Cheaper to Be . . ." X (November, 
1938), 49, 101-102. Short story; uncoUected. 
*'La Smorfia." XLIV (December, 1955), 105, 
240-241. Short story; uncollected. 

"Geremio." XLIX (June, 1958), 88-90. Short 
story; uncollected. 

James Frank DOBIE (1888- ) 
"A Boy and His Horse." XXIV (September, 
1945), 88-89. Article; uncollected. 
John Koderig-o DOS PASSOS (1896- ) 
"Back Home in 1919." I (Autumn, 1933) , 10, 
107, 115. Short story; incorporated in Dos 
Passos, The Big Money (N. Y.: Harcourt, 
Brace, 1936) as the first Charley Anderson 
épisode. [On p. 11 is a fuU-color reproduc- 
tion of a water color by Dos Passos, "Port 
of New York."l 

"Man With a Watch in His Hand." I (Jan- 
uary, 1934) , 55, 108. Article; short biography 
of F. W. Taylor; incorporated into The Big 
Money as "The American Plan." 
"Brooklyn to Helsingfors." I (February, 
1934), 38, 136, 142. Article; revised and in- 
corporated, with same title, into Dos Passos, 
In AU Countries (N. Y.: Harcourt, Brace, 
1934) . 

"Another Redskin Bites the Dust." I 
(March, 1934), 38, 115, 143. Article; revised 
and incorporated into In AU Countries as 
"Emiliana Zapata." 

"Facing a Bitter World. A Portfolio of Etch- 
ings." ni (February, 1935) , 25. Article; short 
commentary on Luis Quintanilla; uncollect- 
ed. [Not listed in previous bibliographies of 
Dos Passos; cf. Ernest HEMINGWAY.] 
"The Celebrity." IV (August, 1935), 22, 92. 
Short story; in revised form this appears as 
part of the third Charlie Anderson épisode 
in The Big Money. Collected in The Arm- 
chair Esquire. 

"The Bitter Drink." IV (September, 1935), 
20-21, 174-175. Article; short biography of 
Veblen; revised and incorporated, with 
same title, into The Big Money. 
"None But the Brave." V (January, 1936), 
42, 170. Short story; uncollected. 
"Personal Appearance." V (February, 1936) , 
32, 181-182. Article; short biography of Val- 
entino; revised and incorporated into The 
Big Money as "Adagio Dancer." 
"Art and Isadora." V (March, 1936) , 41, 196- 
197. Article; short biography of Duncan; 
revised and incorporated, with same title, 
into The Big Money, 

"The Caméra Eye." V (April, 1936), 51, 112. 
Article; autobiographie; revised and incor- 
porated into The Big Money as "The Cam- 
éra Eye (43)," "Newsreel XLVII," "The 
Caméra Eye (44)," "The Caméra Eye (45)," 
"The Caméra Eye (46) ," and part of "News- 
reel XLV." 

"The Big Director." V (May, 1936), 50, 217. 
Short story; incorporated into The Big 



Money as the fifth Margo Dowling épisode. 
"The Poor Whites of Cuba." V (May, 1936), 
110. Article; short commentary on Antonio 
Gattorno, a Cuban painter; uncollected. LCf. 
Ernest HEMINGWAY.] 

"Grosz Comes to America." VI (September, 
1936), 105, 128, 131. Article; uncollected. [II- 
lustrated with five etchings by Grosz.] 
"Introduction to Civil War." VIII (October, 
1937), 53, 141-142, 144. Article; incorporated 
into Dos Passos, Joumeys Between Wars 
(N. Y.: Harcourt, Brace, 1938) as "A Spring 
Month in Paris." 

"Spanish Diary; Coast Road." VIII (Novem- 
ber, 1937), 47, 202, 204, 206. Article; incor- 
porated into Joumeys Between Wars as part 
of "Coast Road South," pp. 345-353. 
"The Road to Madrid." VIII (December, 
1937), 62, 238, 240, 243. Article; incorporated 
into Joumeys Between Wars as part of 
"Coast Road South," pp. 353-360, and as 
"Valencia-Madrid." 

"Room and Bath at the Hôtel Florida." IX 
(January, 1938) , 35, 131-132, 134. Article; in- 
corporated into Joumeys Between Wars as 
"Madrid Under Siège." 

"The Villages Are the Heart of Spain." IX 
(February, 1938), 32-33, 151-153. Article; 
published separately as a 15 p. pamphlet by 
Esquire-Coronet, Inc., in 1938; incorporated, 
with same title, into Joumeys Between 
Wars. [AU articles incorporated into Jour- 
neys Between Wars were revised slightly.] 
"Most Likely to Succeed." XL (September, 
1953), 48, 124-125. Short story; incorporated 
into Dos Passos, Most Likely to Succeed 
(N. Y.: Prentice-Hall, 1953). 

"The Death of James Dean." L (October, 

1958) , 121-123. Article; uncollected. A short 

biography using the techniques of The Big 

Money, as a rétrospective feature for Es- 

quire's 25th Anniversary issue. 

Théodore Herman Albert DREISER (1871- 

1945) 

"Mathewson." I (May, 1934), 20-21, 125; Part 

One. II (June, 1934), 24-25, 114; Part Two. 

Short story; uncollected. 

"An Address to Caliban." II (September, 
1934), 20-21, 158D. Article; an attack on 
Chicago; collected in E. A. Walter, éd., 
Essay Annual, 1935 (N. Y.: Scott, 1935) , pp. 
78-86. 

"You, the Phantom." II (November, 1934), 

25-26. Article; collected in Arnold Gingrich, 

éd., Bedside Esquire (N. Y.: McBride, 1940). 

"The Epie Sinclair." II (December, 1934), 

32-33, 178-179. Article; on Upton Sinclair; 

uncollected. [EPIC: End Poverty in Cali- 

fornia.] 

"Kismet." III (January, 1935), 29, 175-176. 

Article; uncollected. 

"Five Moods in Minor Key." III (March, 



8 



— Fast 



1935) , 25. Five poems: "Tribute," "The Loaf- 
er," "Improvisation," "Machine," and "Es- 
cape"; collected in Dreiser, Moods, Philo- 
sophie and Emotional (N. Y.: Simon & 
Schuster, 1935). 

"Overland Journey." IV (September, 1935), 
24, 97. Article; uncollected. 

"Mark Twain: Three Contacts." IV (Octo- 
ber, 1935) , 22, 162-162B. Article; uncollected. 

"The Tithe of the Lord." X (July, 1938), 
36-37, 150, 155-158. Short story; collected in 
The Armehair Esquire. 

"Myself and the Movies." XX (July, 1943), 
50, 159. Article; autobiographical account oiE 
writer's service in Hollywood; uncollected. 
"Black Sheep Number One: Johnny." XXII 
(October, 1944), 39, 156-160. Sketch; "Intro- 
ducing a séries of unregenerate characters, 
each a bad pièce of work, ranging from 
worthless to pernicious"; uncollected. 
"Black Sheep Number Two: Otie." XXII 
(November, 1944), 65. Sketch; uncollected. 

"Black Sheep Number Three: BiU." XXII 
(December, 1944), 118, 296-297. Sketch; un- 
collected. 

"Black Sheep Number Four: Ethelda." 
XXIII (January, 1945), 85, 127. Sketch; un- 
collected. 

"Black Sheep Number Five: Clarence." 
XXIII (February, 1945), 49, 129-130. Sketch; 
uncollected. 

"Black Sheep Number Six: Harrison Barr." 
XXIII (March, 1945), 49, 131. Sketch; uncol- 
lected. 

"Background for An American Tragedy." 
L (October, 1958), 155-157. An incident in 
the childhood of Clyde GrifRths; one of 
nine chapters excised from An American 
Tragedy before its publication. A part of the 
"Titans Revisited" section of Esquire' s 25th 
Anniversary issue. 

Lord DUNSANY [Edward John Moreton 
Drax Plunkett, 18th Baron] (1878-1957) 
"A Matter of Honour." II (July, 1934), 56. 
One-act play; collected in Dunsany, Plays 
for Earth and Air (London: Heinemann, 
1937). 

"The New Moon." XXXVII (March, 1952), 
60, 106-107. Short story; uncollected. 
Walter DURANTY (1884-1957) 
"Life with a Dream Girl." XVIII (Decem- 
ber, 1942), 61, 264-265. Short story; uncol- 
lected. 

"The Taking of Sanski Most." XX (Septem- 
ber, 1943), 80, 165-166. Short story; uncol- 
lected. 

"Gifts of the Greeks." XXXII (August, 
1949), 37, 115-116. Short story; uncollected. 
Walter Dumaux EDMONDS (1903- ) 
"The Résurrection of Solly Moon." II (Aug- 
ust, 1934) , 47, 111, 150. Short story; collected 
in Bedside Esquire. 



George Paul ELLIOTT (1918- ) 
"Among the Dangs." XLIX (June, 1958), 
128, 130, 132, 134-135, 137-140, 143-144, 146-147. 
Short story; collected in P. Engle and K. 
Hamac, eds., G. Henry Mémorial Award 
Prize StoHes of 1959 (N.Y.: Doubleday, 1958). 
Havelock ELLIS (1859-1939) 
"The Problem of Sterilization." II (Novem- 
ber, 1934), 31, 143. Article; collected in Ellis, 
My Conjessional (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 
1934). 

"The Euthanasian Garden." V (February, 
1936), 38, 158. Article; collected in Bedside 
Esquire. 

"What Is Obscenity?" VI (September, 1936), 
48, 196-197. Article; uncollected. 
"Marriages Not Made in Heaven." VI (Nov- 
ember, 1936), 58, 207-210. Article; uncollect- 
ed. 

Morris Leopold ERNST (1888- ) 
"The Censor Marches On . . ." XI (June, 
1939) , 42, 174-177. Part One. Article; revised 
and incorporated into Emst and Lindey, 
The Censor Marches On (N. Y.: Doubleday, 
1940) as Chapter I, "Sex and Literature." 

"The Censor Marches On . . ." XII (July, 
1939), 49, 108-109, 111-112. Part Two. Article; 
revised and incorporated into The Censor 
Marches On as Chapter II, "Sex and Litera- 
ture (Cont'd)." 

"The Censor Marches On . . ." XII (August, 
1939), 58-59, 142, 144. Part Three. Article; 
revised and incorporated into The Censor 
Marches On as Chapter XV, "The Case 
Against Censorship." 

"The Censor Marches On . . ." XII (Septem- 
ber, 1939) , 76-77, 159. Part Four. Article; re- 
vised and incorporated into The Censor 
Marches On as Chapter XIV, "Who Is the 
Censor?" [Thèse articles v/ere written in 
collaboration with Alexander Lindey.] 

"'Who Killed Parmenter?' " XXIV (No- 
vember, 1945) , 47-48. Article; on Sacco-Van- 
zetti case; appears as Chapter 40 in Ernst, 
The Best Is Y et (N. Y.: Harper, 1945). 
John ERSKIPfE (1879-1951) 
"Tomorrow's Men." I (May, 1934), 41, 155. 
Article; collected in W. H. Cordell, éd., 
Molders of American Thought, 1933-34 
(N. Y.: Doubleday, 1934). 

Hans FALLADA [Rudolf Ditzen] (1893- 

1947) 

"Beware of the Dogg!" II (November, 1934), 

69, 109. Short story; uncollected. 

James Thomas FARIIELL (1904- ) 

"AU In A Man's Reading." I (Autumn, 

1933), 91. Article; review of contemporary 

books; uncollected. 

Howard Melvln FAST (1914- ) 

"The Pirate and the General." XXIII (April, 

1945), 42-43, 130, 132, 134. Article; on Jean 

Lafitte and Andrew Jackson; uncollected. 



9 



Feikema — 



Feike FEIKEMA [Frederick Feikema Man- 

fred] (1912- ) 

"Footsteps in the Alfalfa." XXIV (Septem- 

ber, 1945), 76-77, 141-145. Short story; imcol- 

lected. 

Lion FEUCHTWANGER (1884- ) 
"Two Opposing Views of Germany as a 
Factor in Europe's Future." I (February, 
1934) , 21, 141. Article; uncollected. [The op- 
posing favorable view is by Richard von 
Kuhlmann.] 

"After the Altitude Record." VIII (Decem- 
ber, 1937) , 117. Short short story; collected as 
"Altitude Record" in Feuchtwanger, Mari- 
anne in India and Seven Other Taies 
(N. Y.: Viking, 1935). 

"The Death of Nero." XXIV (November, 
1945), 59, 206-211. Article; on démise of Nero 
Claudius Caesar Drusus Germanicus (37- 
68); uncollected. 

Leslie Aaron FIEDLER (1917- ) 
"Nude Croquet." XLVIII (September, 1957), 
134, 136-138, 140-148. Short story; coUected 
in Fiedler, Nude Croquet (N. Y.: Berkley 
Books, 1957) . 

"Class War in British Literature." XLIX 
(Apriï, 1958), 79-81. Article; uncollected. 
Vardis Alvero FISHER (1895- ) 
"An Essay for Men." VI (September, 1936), 
35, 187-190. Article; uncollected. 

Francis Scott Key FITZGERALD (1896- 
1940) 

" 'Show Mr. and Mrs. F. to Number— ' " I 
(May, 1934), 19, 154B. Article; autobio- 
graphie; collected in Edmund Wilson, éd., 
The Crack-Up (N. Y.: New Directions, 1945), 
pp. 41-48. [Written in collaboration with 
Zelda Fitzgerald.] 

" 'Show Mr. and Mrs. F. to Number—' " II 
(June, 1934) , 23, 120. Article; autobiographie; 
collected in The Crack-Up, pp. 48-55. [Writ- 
ten in collaboration with Zelda Fitzgerald.] 
"Auction— Model 1934." II (July, 1934), 20, 
153, 155. Article; collected in The Crack-Up. 
[Written in collaboration wdth Zelda Fitz- 
gerald.] 

"Sleeping and Waking." II (December, 
1934), 34, 159-160. Article; coUected in The 
Crack-Up. 

"The Fiend." HI (January, 1935), 23, 173-174. 
Short story; collected in Fitzgerald, Taps at 
Reveille (N. Y.: Scribner's, 1935). 
"The Night Before ChanceUorsville." III 
(February, 1935), 24, 165. Short story; col- 
lected in Taps at Reveille. 
"Shaggy's Morning." III (May, 1935), 26, 160. 
Short story; uncollected. 
"The Crack-Up." V (February, 1936), 41, 
164. Article; collected in The Crack-Up. 
"Pasting it Together." V (March, 1936), 35, 
182-183. Article; a "sequel" to "The Crack- 
Up"; uncollected. 



"Handle With Care." V (April, 1936), 39, 
202. Article; a "sequel" to "The Crack-Up"; 
uncollected. 

"Three Acts of Music." V (May, 1936), 39, 
210. Short story; collected in The Armchair 
Esquire. 

"The Ants at Princeton." V (Jvine, 1936) , 35, 
210. Article; uncollected. 

"Author's House." VI (July, 1936), 40, 108. 
Article; collected in Fitzgerald, Aftemoon 
oj an Author, éd. Mizener (Princeton: 
Princeton University Library, 1957). 
"Afternoon of an Author." VI (August, 
1936) , 35, 170. Article; collected in Afternoon 
of an Author. 

"An Author's Mother." VI (September, 
1936), 36. Short short story; uncollected. 
"'I Didn't Get Over.'" VI (October, 1936), 
45, 194-195. Short story; collected in After- 
noon of an Author. 

"'Send Me In, Coach.' " VI (November, 
1936), 55, 218-221. One-act play; collected 
in Herbert Graffis, éd., Esquire' s Second 
Sports Reader (N. Y.: Barnes, 1946). 

"An Alcoholic Case." VII (February, 1937), 
32, 100. Short story; collected in Malcolm 
Cowley, éd., The Stories of F. Scott Fitz- 
gerald (N. Y.: Scribner's, 1951). 
"The Honor of the Goon." VII (June, 1937), 
53, 216. Short story; loncollected. 
"The Long Way Out." VIII (September, 
1937), 45, 193. Short story; collected in The 
Stories. 

"The Guest in Room Nineteen." VIII (Octo- 
ber, 1937) , 56, 209. Short story; uncollected. 
"In the HoUdays." VIII (December, 1937), 
82, 184, 186. Short story; uncollected. 
"Financing Finnegan." IX (January, 1938), 
41, 180, 182, 184. Short story; collected in The 
Stories. 

"Design in Plaster." XH (November, 1939), 
51, 169. Short story; collected in E. J. 
O'Brien, éd., The Best Short Stories of 1940; 
and in Afternoon of an Author. 
"The Lost Décade." XII (December, 1939). 
113, 228. Short story; collected in The 
Stories. 

"Pat Hobby's Christmas Wish." XIII (Jan- 
uary, 1940), 45, 170-172. Short story; uncol- 
lected. [The first of seventeen stories in 
which Pat Hobby, a jaded Hollj^wood script 
writer, appears as the main character.] 
"A Man in the Way." XIII (February, 1940), 
40, 109. Short story; uncollected. [Pat 
Hobby] 

"'Boil Some Water— Lots of It.*" XIII 
(March, 1940) , 30, 145, 147. Short story; col- 
lected in Afternoon of an Author. [Pat 
Hobby] 

"Teamed With Genius." XIII (April, 1940), 
44, 195-197. Short story; collected in After- 
noon of an Author. [Pat Hobby] 



10 



— Gellhorn 



«Pat Hobby and Orson Welles." XIII (May, 
1940), 38, 198-199. Short story; uncollected. 
"Pat Hobby's Secret." XIII (June, 1940), 30, 
107. Short story; uncollected. 

"Pat Hobby, Putative Father." XIV (July, 
1940), 36, 172-174. Short story; uncollected. 
"The Homes of the Stars." XIV (August, 
1940), 28, 120-121. Short story; uncoUected. 
[Pat Hobby] 

"Pat Hobby Does His Bit." XIV (Septem- 
ber, 1940), 41, 104. Short story; uncollected. 

"Pat Hobby's Preview." XIV (October, 
1940), 30, 118, 120. Short story; uncollected. 
"No Harm Trying." XIV (November, 1940), 
30, 151-153. Short story; collected in After- 
noon of an Author. [Pat Hobby] 

"A Patriotic Short." XIV (December, 1940) , 
62, 269. Short story; collected in The Stories. 
[Pat Hobby] 

"On the Trail of Pat Hobby." XV (January, 
1941), 36, 126. Short story; uncollected. 
"Fun in an Artist's Studio." XV (February, 
1941), 64, 112. Short story; uncollected. [Pat 
Hobby] 

"On an Océan Wave." XV (February, 1941) , 
59, 141-142. Short story; uncollected. [Writ- 
ten under the pseudonym of "Paul Elgin"; 
see Arthur Mizener, The Far Side of Para- 
dise (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1951), p. 
356.] 

"Two Old-Timers." XV (March, 1941), 53, 
143. Short story; collected in The Stories. 
[Pat Hobby] 

"Mightier Than the Sword." XV (April, 
1941) , 36, 183. Short story; uncollected. [Pat 
Hobby] 

"Pat Hobby's Collège Days." XV (May, 
1941), 55, 168-169. Short story; uncollected. 
[The last of the Pat Hobby stories.] 

"The Woman from Twenty-One." XV 
(June, 1941), 29, 164. Short story; uncol- 
lected. 

"Three Hours Between Planes." XVI (July, 
1941), 41, 138-139. Short story; collected in 
The Stories. 

"Advice to a Young Writer." L (October, 
1958), 158-159. Three unpublished letters of 
Fitzgerald's; with accompanying text by 
Andrew Tiu-nbuU. A part of the "Titans 
Revisited" section of Esquire's 25th Anni- 
versary issue. 

John Gould FLETCHER (1886-1950) 
"Forever Upon the Prairie." I (March, 
1934), 19. Poem; revised and collected as 
"Shadow on the Prairie," in Fletcher, The 
Burning Mountain (N.Y.: Dutton, 1946). 

"Requiem for a Twentieth-Century Out- 
law." III (April, 1935) , 26. Poem; revised and 
collected in The Burning Mountain. 



Rolbert Louis FONTAINE (1912?- ) 
"The Loud and Véhément Prayer." XXII 
(July, 1944), 48-49, 148. Short story; incor- 
porated, with revisions, as "The Loud 
Prayer" in Fontaine, The Happy Time 
(N. Y.: Simon & Schuster, 1945). 

"Geralde and the Good Green Earth." 
XXVIII (September, 1947), 94-95. Short 
story; uncollected. 

Shelby FOOTE (1916- ) 

"Shiloh." XXXIX (February, 1953), 75-94, 

96. Complète novel; with Mathew B. Brady 

photographs; pubhshed previously, without 

photographs, as Foote, Shiloh (N. Y.: Dial, 

1952). 

Ford Madox FORD [Ford Madox Huefïer] 
(1873-1939) 

"See, They Retum!" III (Jime, 1935), 37, 
164-166. Article; revised and incorporated 
into Ford, Great Trade Route (N. Y.: Ox- 
ford, 1937) as Chapter Three, "Voyage Out- 
wards." 

Cecil Scott FORESTER (1899- ) 

"To My Darling." IV (September, 1935), 

70, 106. Short story; uncollected. 

"The Last Three Seconds." V (March, 
1936), 78, 128, 130. Short story; uncollected. 
"'You Are Welcome!' " XX (September, 
1943), 48-49, 123. Short story; uncollected. 
Waldo David FRANK (1889- ) 
"A Place to Lay One's Head." III (January, 
1935), 35, 99. Short story; collected in 
Charles Grayson, éd., Half a Hundred 
(N. Y.: Garden City, 1945) ; and in Bedside 
Esquire. 

"Stepan and Natasha." VII (June, 1937), 80, 
158. Short story; uncollected. 
Sidney FRANKLIN (1903- ) 
"There Was a Man: Joselito." XXXIII 
(June, 1950), 64, 120. Article; Joselito the 
matador; uncollected. 
Peter FREUCHEN (1886-1957) 
"Nauja the Desired." IV (December, 1935), 
92, 146, 149. Short story; uncollected. 
"Casanova on Ice." V (January, 1935), 56, 
198-201. Short story; uncollected. 
Mavis GALLANT 

"Thieves and Rascals." XLVI (July, 1956), 
82, 85-86. Short story; uncollected. 
Martlia EUis GELLHORN (1908- ) 
"About Shorty." XXXIII (January, 1950), 
52, 128-131. Short story; collected in Ging- 
rich, éd., Girls From Esquire (N. Y.: Ran- 
dom House, 1952); Esquire Treasury; and 
in Gellhorn, Honeyed Peace; Stories (N. Y.: 
Doubleday, 1953) . 

"Darling, Believe Me." XXXVI (September, 
1951), 45, 122, 124, 127. Short story; uncol- 
lected. 

"Man in a Trap." XXXVIII (December, 
1952), 128, 174, 176, 178, 181-182, 184. Short 
story; uncollected. 



11 



Gill— 



Brendan GILL (1914- ) 

"A Home with the Latest Gadgets." XXIII 

(January, 1945), 70-71. Short story; uncol- 

lected. 

"The Night Bus to Atlanta." XXIII (March, 
1945), 32, 140-145. Short story; coUected in 
Girls From Esquire. 

Oliver St. John GOGARTY (1878-1957) 
"A Picture of Oscar Wilde." XXIV (August, 
1945), 40-41, 149-152. Article; uncollected. 
Maxim GORKI (1868-1936) 
"The Pogrom." IV (July, 1935), 24-25, 164. 
Short story; uncollected. [This story ap- 
pears to hâve been written c, 1903.] 
"Life in a Prison Cell." VII (April, 1937), 
44-45, 217-219. Short story; coUected in The 
Armchair Esquire. 

Robert GRAVES (1895- ) 
"The American Poet as a Businessman." L 
(October, 1958) , 22, 24, 26, 28. Article; uncol- 
lected. 

Paul GREEIS^ (1894- ) 
"Austin Honey and the Buzzards." XXV 
(March, 1946), 99, 178-179. Short story; col- 
lected in Green, Salvation on a String 
(N. Y.: Harper, 1946). 
Graham GREE NE (1904- ) 
"Her Uncle vs. His Father." XVIII (July, 
1942), 30, 116-119. Short story; uncollected. 

William Lindsay GRESHAM (1909- ) 
"The Long Drop." XXVIII (August, 1947), 
59, 134. Short story; uncollected. Note: in 
ail, Gresham published eight pièces in Es- 
quire, 1947-1954. 

John Joseph GUNTHER (1901- ) 
"I Dub You Sir Knight." XXXI (March, 
1949), 34, 126-128. Short story; imcollected. 
Alfred Bertram GUTHRIE, Jr. (1901- ) 
"The Last Snake." XXXII (November, 
1949), 57, 109-110, 112, 114, 116. Short story; 
uncollected. 

"Bargain at Moon Dance." XXXVIII (Oc- 
tober, 1952), 72, 127-130. Short story; un- 
collected. 

James B. HALL 

"The Claims Artist." XL (September, 1953), 
42-43, 105. Short story; uncollected. 

"The Fall and the Twilight." XLVIII (Sep- 
tember, 1957), 100-104. Short story; uncol- 
lected. 

Albert HALPER (1904- ) 

"Hot Night in Rockford." II (August, 1934), 

66-67, 117. Short story; uncollected. 

"Model Wanted." V (January, 1936), 41, 

182B. Short story; uncollected. 

Samuel DashieU HAMMETT (1894- ) 

"Albert Pastor at Home." I (Autumn, 1933), 

34. Short short story; uncollected. 

Knut HAMSUN (1859-1952) 

"Son of the Sun." I (March, 1934), 30, 120. 

Short story; uncollected. 



"The Conqueror." II (October, 1934), 65, 112. 

Short story; uncollected. 

Michael HASTINGS (1937- ) 

"The Game." XLIX (April, 1958), 135-147. 

Sampler from novel, The Game (N. Y.: 

McGraw-Hill, 1958) . 

Ben HECHT (1893- ) 
"SnowfaU in Childhood." II (November, 
1934), 40-41, 122. Short story; coUected in 
Hecht, Actor's Blood (N. Y.: Covici, 1936); 
and in Bedside Esquire. 

"A Champion in Chains." XVIII (October, 
1942), 36, 168-169. Article; uncollected. 

"John Decker's Hollywood." XXIV (De- 
cember, 1945), 132. Article; uncollected. 

"Dr. Romeo and Juliet." XXXVII (June, 
1952), 47, 49, 109-110, 112-114. Short story; 
uncollected. 

"Sex in Hollywood." XLI (May, 1954), 35, 
120-121. Article; uncollected. 

"The Tired Horse." XLII (September, 1954), 
42-43. Short short story; uncollected. 
"Sic Transit." XLII (December, 1954), 87. 
Short short story; uncollected. 

"Bosoms Away." XLVIII (July, 1957), 73- 
74. Article; uncollected. 

Robert Louis HEILBRONER (1919- ) 
"The Murder of the Man Who Was Shake- 
speare." XLII (December, 1954), 115-122. 
Article; "Calvin Hoffman's case for Chris- 
topher Mario we"; uncollected; Hoffman's 
book published in New York, 1955. 

Ernest Miller HEMINGWAY (1899- ) 
"Marlin Ofî the Morro. A Cuban Letter." I 
(Autumn, 1933), 8-9, 39, 97. Article; with 
numerous photographs; coUected as "Mar- 
lin Ofï Cuba" in E. V. Connett, éd., Amer- 
ican Big Game Fishing (N. Y.: Derrydale, 
1935). 

"The Friend of Spaki. A Spanish Letter." I 
(January, 1934), 26, 136. Article; iUustrated 
by a reproduction, in fuU color, of a water 
color by John DOS PASSOS, p. 27; uncol- 
lected. 

"A Paris Letter." I (February, 1934), 22, 156. 
Article; uncollected. 

"a.d. in Africa. A Tanganyika Letter." I 
(April, 1934), 19, 146. Article; uncollected. 
["a.d.": amoebic dysentery.] 

"Shootism Versus Sport. The Second Tan- 
ganyika Letter." II (June, 1934), 19, 150. 
Article; uncollected. 

"Notes on Dangerous Game. The Third 
Tanganyika Letter." II (July, 1934), 19, 94. 
Article; important background material for 
Green Hills of Africa, "The Short Happy 
Life of Francis Macomber," and "The 
Snows of Kilimanjaro"; uncollected. 
"Out in the Stream. A Cuban Letter." II 
(August, 1934), 19, 156, 158. Article; uncol- 
lected. 



12 



-Household 



"Défense of Dirty Words. A Cuban Letter." 

II (September, 1934) , 19, 158B, 158D. Article; 
criticism of Ring Lardner and others; un- 
collected. 

"Genio After Josie. A Havana Letter." II 
(October, 1934), 21-22. Article; uncollected. 

"Old Newsman Writes." II (December, 
1934), 25-26. Article; attack on "proletarian 
writers"; uncollected. 

"Notes on Life and Letters. Or a Manu- 
script Found in a Bottle." III (January, 
1935) , 21, 159. Article; excoriation of William 
SAROYAN; uncollected. 
"Remembering Shooting-Flying. A Key 
West Letter." III (February, 1935), 21, 152. 
Article; coUected in Esquire's First Sports 
Reader. 

"Facing a Bitter World. A Portfolio of 
Etchings by Luis Quintanilla." III (Febru- 
ary, 1935), 26-27. Article; a commentary on 
Quintanilla; uncollected ICf. John DOS 
PASSOS.] 

"Sailfish Off Mombasa. A Key West Letter." 

III (March, 1935), 21, 156. Article; uncol- 
lected. 

"The Sights of Whitehead Street. A Key 
West Letter." III (April, 1935), 25, 156. Ar- 
ticle; uncollected. 

"a.d. Southern Style. A Key West Letter." 

III (May, 1935), 25, 156. Article; uncollected. 

"On Being Shot Again. A Gulf Stream Let- 
ter." III (June, 1935), 25, 156-157. Article; 
uncollected. 
"The Président Vanishes. A Bimini Letter." 

IV ( July, 1935) , 23, 167. Article; uncollected. 

"He Who Gets Slap Happy. A Bimini Let- 
ter." IV (August, 1935), 19, 182. Article; 
account of the vétérans in a Key West 
saloon is similar to the épisode in Chapter 
22, To Hâve and Hâve Not; uncollected. 

"Notes on the Next War." IV (September, 
1935), 19, 156. Article; violently isolationist; 
collected in W. H. Cordell and K. C. Cordell, 
eds., American Points of View, 1936 (N. Y.: 
Doubleday Doran, 1937). 

"Monologue to the Maestro. A High Seas 
Letter." IV (October, 1936), 21, 174A-174B. 
Article; strictures on the art of fiction; un- 
collected. 

"The Malady of Power. A Second Serious 
Letter." IV (November, 1935), 31, 198-199. 
Article; another anti-war pièce; collected in 
American Points of View, 1936. 

"Million Dollar Fright. A New York Let- 
ter." IV (December, 1935) , 35, 190B. Article; 
on heavyweight boxing; uncollected. 

"Wings Always Over Africa. An Ornitho- 
logical Letter." V (January, 1936), 31, 174- 
175. Article; on Italo-Ethiopian war; uncol- 
lected. 



"The Tradesman's Return." V (February, 
1936), 27, 193-196. Short story; incorporated, 
with revisions, into To Hâve and Hâve Not 
as Chapters 6-8; and in The Esquire Treas- 
ury. 

"On the Blue Water. A Gulf Stream Letter." 
V (April, 1936), 31, 184-185. Article; on 
marlin-fishing; contains a 178-word anec- 
dote which is the "germ" of The Old Man 
and the Sea; collected in Eric Devine, éd., 
Blow the Man Down (N. Y.: Doubleday 
Doran, 1937) ; and in Bedside Esquire. 
"There She Breaches! Or Moby Dick Ofï 
the Morro." V (May, 1936), 35, 203-205. Ar- 
ticle; uncollected. 

"Gattorno: Program Note." V (May, 1936), 
111, 141. Article; short commentary on the 
Cuban painter Antonio Gattorno; uncol- 
lected. [A reprint of the original program 
note, Havana, April, 1935; cf. John DOS 
PASSOS.] 

"The Horns of the Bull." V (May, 1936) , 31, 
190-193. Short story; revised and collected 
as "The Capital of the World" in Heming- 
way, The Fifth Column and the First Forty- 
Nine Stories (N. Y.: Scribner's, 1938). 
"The Snows of Kilimanjaro." VI (August, 
1936), 27, 194-201. Short story; the name 
"Scott Fitzgerald" appears, instead of 
"Julian," in this first version; collected in 
The Fifth Column and the First Forty-Nine 
Stories; and in E. J. O'Brien, éd., The Best 
Short Stories of 1937 (Boston: Houghton 
Mifflin, 1937) ; and in Bedside Esquire. 

"The Denunciation" X (November, 1938), 
39, 111-114. Short story; uncollected; first of 
a séries of three stories about Chicote's Bar 
in Madrid during the Spanish Civil War. 

"The Butterfly and the Tank." X (Decem- 
ber, 1938) , 51, 186, 188, 190. Collected in The 
Armchair Esquire. 

"Night Before Battle." XI (February, 1939), 
27-29, 91-92, 95, 97. Uncollected. 
James HILTON (1900-1954) 
"Challenge of Mt. Everest." XXX (July, 
1948), 58, 145. Article; uncollected. 
Chester B. HIMES (1909- ) 
"Crazy in the Stir." II (August, 1934), 28, 
114, 117. Short story; early story with prison 
setting by the Negro novelist; uncollected. 
Note: in ail, Himes pubhshed ten pièces in 
Esquire, 1934-1946. 

Stewart HaU HOLBROOK (1893- ) 
"The Unholy Horatio Alger." XIX (Jan- 
uary, 1943) , 69, 177-180. Article; uncollected. 
John Cîellon HOLMES (1926?- ) 
"The Philosophy of the Beat Génération." 
XLIX (February, 1958), 35-38. Article; un- 
collected. ICf. John KEROUAC] 
Geoffrey HOUSEHOLD (1900- ) 
"The Idealist." XXXIX (June, 1953), 58, 
135-136. Short story; uncollected. 



13 



Housman — 



Laurence HOUSMAN (1865- ) 
"The Fall of the Sparrow." IV (December, 
1935) , 69, 155. Short story; coUected in Hous- 
man, What Next? (London: Cape, 1938). 

James Langston HUGHES (1902- ) 
«A Good Job Gone." I (April, 1934) , 46, 142, 
144. Short story; coUected in Hughes, The 
Ways of White Folks (N.Y.: Knopf, 1934); 
and in Bedside Esquire. 

"The Folks at Home." I (May, 1934), 56-57, 
93-94. Short story; coUected as "Home" in 
The Ways of White Folks. 

"The Little Old Spy." II (September, 1934), 
47, 150, 152. Short story; coUected in Hughes, 
Laughing to Keep From Crying (N.Y.: 
Holt, 1952) . 

"On the Road." III (January, 1935) , 92, 154. 
Short story; coUected in Laughing to Keep 
From Crying. 

"Tragedy at the Baths." IV (October, 1935), 
80, 122. Short story; coUected in Laughing 
to Keep From Crying. 

"Slice 'em Down." V (May, 1936), 44-45, 
190-193. Short story; coUected in Laughing 
to Keep From Crying. 

"Let America Be America Again." VI ( July, 
1936), 92. Poem; uncoUected. 

"Air Raid: Barcelona." X (October, 1938), 
40. Poem; uncoUected. 

"Seven Moments of Love. An Un-Sonnet 
Séquence in Blues." XIII (May, 1940) , 60-61. 
Seven poems: "TwiUght Rêverie," "Supper 
Time," "Bed Time," "Daybreak," "Sunday," 
"Pay Day," and "Letter"; coUected in 
Hughes, Shakespeare in Harlem (N. Y.: 
Knopf, 1942). 

John HUSTOK (1906- ) 
"Moulin Rouge." XXXVIII (December, 
1952), 103-106. Article; notes on making the 
film "Moulin Rouge," with photographs of 
Toulouse-Lautrec and two excellent repro- 
ductions of his work; uncoUected. 
Kobert Maynard HUTCHINS (1899- ) 
"The Lesson of Khrushchev's Little Red 
Schoolhouse." XLIX (June, 1958), 84-87. 
Article; uncoUected. 

"The Age of the Interchangeable Man." L 
(October, 1958), 66, 70. Article; uncoUected. 
Aidons Léonard HUXLEY (1894- ) 
"Visiting Stranger." IV (November, 1935), 
32-33, 197. Short story; uncoUected. 

"Time's Revenge." XXXVI (October, 1951), 

49, 131-138. Short story; uncoUected. 

"Sludge and Sanctity." XXXIX (June, 

1953), 53, 127-131. Article; cleanliness and 

sewage; uncoUected. 

"The French of Paris." XL (December, 

1953), 121, 123-124, 127-128. Article; uncol- 

lected. 

"Usually Destroyed." XLIV (July, 1955) , 42, 

112-113. Article; coUected in Huxley, To- 



morrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow 
(N. Y.: Harper, 1956). 

"Miracle in Lebanon." XLIV (August, 
1955), 23-24. Article; commences a séries 
entitled "From the Study of Aldous Hux- 
ley"; coUected in Tomorrow and Tomorrow 
and Tomorrow. 

"Doodles in the Dictionary." XLIV (Sep- 
tember, 1955), 44, 135-136. Article; on Tou- 
louse-Lautrec; coUected in ToTncTToiu and 
Tomorrow and Tomorrow. 

"Censorship and Spoken Literature." XLIV 
(October, 1955), 55-56. Article; on political 
and économie censorship; coUected in To- 
morrow and Tomorrow and Tom^orrow. 
"Liberty, QuaUty, Machinery." XLIV (No- 
vember, 1955), 67-68. Article; the individ- 
ual's place in a technological society; col- 
lected in Tomorrow and Tomorrow and To- 
morrow. 

"Canned Fish." XLIV (December, 1955), 93, 
252. Article; on work; coUected in Tomor- 
row and Tomorrow and Tomorrow. 

"Variations on a Musical Thème." XLV 
(January, 1956) , 43-44, 122, 124, 125A. Article; 
uncoUected. 

"Mother." XLV (February, 1956), 31-32. 
Article; coUected in Tomorrow and To- 
morrow and Tomorrow. 

"Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow." 
XLV (March, 1956) , 43-44. Article; coUected 
in Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow. 

"Back Numbers." XLV (April, 1956), 49, 
140-142. Article; uncoUected. 

"Where Do You Live?" XLV (May, 1956), 
43-44, 108. Article; uncoUected. 

"Madness, Badness, Sadness." XLV (June, 
1956), 50, 146-148. Article; imcoUected. 

"Brave New World Revisited." XLVI (July, 
1956), 31-32. Article; coUected in The Arm- 
chair Esquire. 

"Genius." XLVI (August, 1956), 24, 114. 
Article; uncoUected. 

"Facts and Fetishes." XLVI (September, 
1956), 43, 115-116. Article; uncoUected. 
"A Case of Voluntary Ignorance." XLVI 
(October, 1956) , 47, 124, 127-128, 130. Article; 
uncoUected. 

"Paradoxes of Progress." XLVI (November, 
1956), 55-56. Article; uncoUected. 

"Can We Be WeU Educated?" XLVI (De- 
cember, 1956) , 112, 216, 218, 220. Article; un- 
coUected. 

"Post-Mortem on Bridey." XLVII (Janu- 
ary, 1957), 45, 128, 130. Article; uncoUected. 

"Pleasures." XLVII (February, 1957), 27-28. 

Article; uncoUected. 

"The Oddest Science." XLVII (March, 

1957), 33-34, 123. Article; on psychology; 

uncoUected. 



14 



—La Farge 



"PoUtics and Biology." XLVII (April, 1957), 
45-46. Article; England and Suez; ends the 
séries "From the Stvdy"; uncoUected. 
Charles Reg^inald JACKSON (1903- ) 
"Millstones." XXXIX (May, 1953), 79. 
Short short story; uncoUected. 

"Don't Call Me Sonny." XL (July, 1953), 

42, 109. Short story; uncoUected. 

"Landscape with Figures." XL (December, 

1953) , 156. Short short story; uncoUected. 

Cyril Edwin Mitchlnson JOAD (1891- 

1953) 

"The Higher Escapism." XV (June, 1941), 

27, 159-163. Article; uncoUected. 

James JONES (1921- ) 

"Two Legs for the Two of Us." XXXVI 

(September, 1951), 43, 100, 103. Short story; 

collected in Girls From Esquire and in 

Esquire Treasury. 

"The Tennis Game." XLIX (January, 1958) , 
60-64. Short story; uncoUected. 

Oarson KANIN (1912- ) 
"AU Through the House." XLIV (Decem- 
ber, 1955), 167-174. Long short story; un- 
coUected. 

"The Damnedest Thing." XLV (February, 
1956), 63-64. Short story; uncoUected. 
"Flowers of Friendship." XLVI (August, 
1956), 31, 110, 113. Short story; uncoUected. 

MacKiiilay KANTOR (1904- ) 
"The Widow Kelvey's Curse." XXII (Sep- 
tember, 1944), 30-31, 164. Short story; un- 
oo 1 1 fM^1"(^ri 

"Ail Night with My Darling." XXII (De- 
cember, 1944), 64-65. Short story; uncol- 
lected. 
"Old Times There Are Not Forgotten." 

XXIII (February, 1945), 43. Short short 
story; uncoUected. 

"Time to Wake Up Now." XXIV (October, 

1945), 48-49, 135. Article; semi-autobio- 

graphical war narrative; uncoUected. 

"Dear Old Ghost of Mine." XXIV (Novem- 

ber, 1945), 40-41, 171-174. Article; on ghosts; 

uncoUected. 

"And the Armies that Remained Sufïered." 

XXIV (December, 1945), 100-101, 307. Ar- 
ticle; on the death of F. D. R. and the men 
overseas; uncoUected. 

"Pretty Pictures for Tooey." XXV (Febru- 
ary, 1946) , 46-47, 154-166. Article; World War 
II; uncoUected. 

"To Hâve Dominion." XXXIII (AprU, 1950), 
57. Short short story; uncoUected. 
"How to TeU Dirty Stories." XLI (Febru- 
ary, 1954) , 31, 90, 92. Article; uncoUected. 
Rockwell KENT (1882- ) 
"Cinderella in Greenland." II (July, 1934), 
23, 151-152. Short story; first of a séries of 
three short stories, each accompanied by a 
fuU-page reproduction in color of a water 



color by the author; uncoUected. 

"Skaal Salamina!" II (August, 1934), 26, 
136, 138, 141. 

"The Blonde Eskimo." II (September, 1934), 
29, 130-131. 

John KEROUAC (1922- ) 
"Aftermath: The Philosophy of the Beat 
Génération." XLIX (March, 1958), 24-26. 
Article; uncoUected. 

"Ronnie on the Mound." XLIX (May, 1958), 
87-88. Short story; uncoUected. 

Oerald KERSH (1909- ) 
"The Undefeated Radetski." XXIV (Au- 
gust, 1945), 28-29, 126-130. Short story; col- 
lected as "Undefeated" in Kersh, The Hor- 
rible Dummy and Other Stories (London: 
Heinemann, 1944) . Note: in aU, Kersh pub- 
lished twenty-six pièces in Esquire, 1944- 
1957. 

Eric Mow])ray KNIGHT (1897-1943) 
"Mary Ann and the Duke." VIII (Decem- 
ber, 1937), 92, 214, 216, 218, 220. Short story; 
collected in Knight, Sa'm Small Flies Again 
(N.Y.: Harper, 1942) ; and in E. J. O'Brien, 
éd., The Best British Short Stories of 1938 
(Boston: Houghton Miffîin, 1938). 

"Never Come Monday." IX (March, 1938), 
36-37, 183-186. Short story; coUected in Sam 
Small Flies Again; and in Bedside Esquire, 

"Strong in the Arms." IX (April, 1938) , 56- 
57, 193, 195-197. Short story; coUected in 
Savfi Small Flies Again. 

"Time for the Pie-Boy." IX (June, 1938), 
37, 169, 171-172. Short story; uncoUected. 

"I Knew They'd Never Make It." XI (May, 
1939), 81, 164. Short story; uncoUected. 

"Bison BiU and Johnnie BuU." XIV (No- 
vember, 1940), 48-49, 166-168. Short story; 
uncoUected. 

Manuel KOMROFF (1890- ) 
"Invitation to Danger." I (Autumn, 1933) 
44. Short short story; coUected in Komrofï, 
AU In Our Day (N. Y.: Harper, 1942). Note: 
in ail, Komrofï pubiished seventy-eight 
stories in Esquire, 1933-1944. 
Alfred KREYMBORG (1883- ) 
"No More War." XXIX (February, 1948), 
72-73. Poem; uncoUected. 
Chrlstopher LA FARGE (1897-1956) 
"Don Juan Miscarried." XXXVIII (Octo- 
ber, 1952), 58, 115-120. Short story; imcol- 
lected. 

Oliver Hazard Perry LA FARGE (1901- ) 
"Kittens Can Qimb." I (March, 1934), 43, 
82, 152. Short story; material appeared, in 
différent form, in the novel The Copper Pot 
(N.Y.: Houghton Mifflin, 1942). 
"A Family Matter." IH (January, 1935), 25, 
157. Short story; coUected in La Farge, AU 
the Young Men (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 
1935). 



15 



Lardner — 



"Introduction to Mexico." III (June, 1935), 
34, 179-180. Sketch; uncollected. 

"Interior of Mexico." IV (September, 1935), 
50-51, 128. Article; uncollected. 

"Backwoods of Mexico." IV (October, 1935), 
43, 176-176B. Article; uncollected. 

"Guatemalan Goodbye." V (January, 1936), 
88-89, 130. Sketch; uncollected. 

"Divinely Fair." V (February, 1936) , 76, 111. 
Short story; uncollected. 

"News By Lip Service." V (May, 1936), 101, 
136. Article; uncollected. 

"The Natives Are Friendly." VI (August, 
1936), 76-77, 146. Sketch; uncollected. 
"Thick on the Bay." VII (January, 1937), 
58, 126, 128. Short story; uncollected. 
"The Girl and the Tiponi." VII (April, 1937), 
72-73, 136, 139. Short story; uncollected. 
"Independent Research." VIII (August, 
1937), 32, 203-208. Short story; uncollected. 
"The Little Flower." IX (January, 1938), 
74-75, 162, 164-166. Short story; uncollected. 
"The Young Warrior." X (December, 1938) , 
95, 219-220. Short story; uncollected. 
"Old Men's Plans." XVI (July, 1941), 66-67, 
100, 102. Short story; uncollected. 
"The Saga of Zela." XVII (February, 1942), 
40, 111-113. Short story; uncollected. 
"Dog Boy." XLII (December, 1954), 134, 
213-215. Short story; uncollected. 

Ringrg-old Wilmer LAEDNER (1885-1933) 
"Greek Tragedy." I (February, 1934) , 18-19, 
85, 147. Short story; the last story written 
before his death ("Backstage with Esquire," 
p. 16); collected in Bedside Esquire. [Not 
included in Robert H. Goldsmith, "Ring W. 
Lardner; A Check-list of His Published 
Work," Bulletin oj Bihliography , XXI 
(September-December, 1954), 104-106.] 

Bing^old Wilmer LARDKEIl, Jr. (1915- ) 
"Princeton Panorama." I (Autumn, 1933), 
68, 80. Article; uncollected. 

Eichard Edward LAUTERBACH 

(1914-1950) 

"The Legend of Dorothy Parker." XXII 
(October, 1944), 93, 139-146. Article; bio- 
graphical; collected in Girls From Esquire. 

David Herbert LAWRENCE (1885-1930) 
"Strike Pay." II (June, 1934), 54-55, 100. 
Short story; a story "left unpublished"; col- 
lected in Lawrence, Modem Lover (N.Y.: 
Viking, 1934). 

"Turnabout Is Fair." II (August, 1934), 50, 
156. Short story; collected as "Her Turn" 
in Modem Lover; and in The Armchair Es- 
quire. 

"The Witch à la Mode." II (September, 
1934) , 42-43, 131-132. Short story; collected in 
Modem Lover. 



Meyer LEVIIN" (1905- ) 

"Dr. Fabian's One Man Show." XLII (July, 

1954) , 38, 104-105. Short story; imcoUected. 

"The Gift of Mr. Rubius." XLV (January, 
1956), 64, 66, 68. Short story; uncollected. 

"The Seven Scrolls of Professor Sukenik." 
XLVII (January, 1957), 65, 142, 144-145. Ar- 
ticle; on the Dead Sea Scrolls; uncollected. 

"His Clever Wife." XLIX (February, 1958), 
81-82. Short story; uncollected. 

Harry Sinclair LEWIS (1885-1951) 
"Gentlemen, This Is Révolution." XXIII 
(June, 1945), 76-77. Article; discussion of 
Wright's Black Boy, White's A Rising Wind, 
Myrdal's An American Dilemma, and What 
the Negro Wants; collected in The Armchair 
Esquire. 

"Obscenity and Obscurity." XXIV (July, 
1945), 51, 140. Article; the "feeble violence" 
of obscenity, the "coy snootiness" of ob- 
scurity, and the distinguished writing of 
Eudora Welty; uncollected. 

"What the Young Joe Should Write." 
XXIV (August, 1945), 67, 137. Article; ad- 
vice to authors of war books and praise for 
Barzun's Teacher in America; uncollected. 

"Wolfes and Wolves." XXIV (September, 
1945), 81, 129. Article; comments on twenty 
novels most of which need a "more rigoroiis 
use of the blue pencil and far more rigorous 
avoidance of the influences of Tom WoKe 
and William Faulkner and Mary McCar- 
thy"; uncollected. 

"The Boxers of M. Voltaire." XXIV (Octo- 
ber, 1945), 78-79. Article; unfavorable com- 
mentary on Louis Bromfield's Pleasant 
Valley; uncollected. 

"The Sac of Fortune." XXIV (November, 
1945), 78-80. Article; lively discussion of 
Wallace Stegner, August Derleth, and James 
T. Farrell; uncollected. 
"Are Women Better?" XXIV (December, 
1945) , 148, 239. Article; discussion of Maritta 
Wolff and Ann Chidester; xincoUected. 
"A Minnesota Diary." L (October, 1958), 
160-162. A section of a journal Lewis kept 
between 1942 and 1946; with an introductory 
note by Mark Schorer. A part of the "Titans 
Revisited" section of Esquire's 25th Anni- 
versary issue. 

Ludwig- LEWISOHN (1883-1955) 
"The Endless Test." XXVII (June, 1947), 
88-89, 229-231. Short story; uncollected. 
Abbott Joseph LIEBLIIS^G (1904- ) 
"Who Did They Lick?" XXVI (November, 
1946) , 82-83. Book Review; uncollected. Note: 
in ail, liiebling did sixteen monthly book 
reviews for Esquire, November, 1946-Feb- 
ruary, 1948. 

Yn-t'ang- LIN (1895- ) 
"The Last of the Conf ucianists." XV (March, 
1941), 27, 122-123. Article; uncollected. 



16 



— Maurois 



Robert James CoUas LOWRY (1919- ) 
"Possessed." XLV (April, 1956), 61, 151-154. 
Short story; uncollected. 

Emil LUDWIG (1881-1948) 

"Portrait of a Comedian." I ( January, 1934) , 

23. Article on Chaplin; uncollected. 

"Man Whose Name is Steel." I (February, 

1934) , 24, 141. [Trans. Ernest Boyd.] Article; 

uncollected. 

"The Paradox of Hollywood." I (March, 

1934) , 29, 145. [Trans. Ernest Boyd.] Article; 

uncollected. 

"Teleprejudice." I (April, 1934), 26. [Trans. 
Ernest Boyd.] Article; uncollected. 

"The Fate of Political Exiles." II (July, 
1935), 36-37, 140. [Trans. Ernest Boyd.] Ar- 
ticle; uncollected. 

Robie MACAULEY (1919- ) 

"The Académie Style." XLVII (June, 1957), 

116, 159-160, 162, 164. Short story; uncollected. 

Dwig^ht MACDOÎ^ALD (1906- ) 
"The Bright Young Men in the Arts." L 
(September, 1958), 38-40. Article; uncol- 
lected. This article appeared as part of a 
supplément on "The Bright Young Men of 
1958," in which Dr. Paul Klopsteg wrote on 
the field of Science; Senator Paul Douglas 
on Politics; and Robert Weaver on Business. 

William Morley Punshon McFEE 

(1881- ) 

"Bellissima." I (Autumn, 1933) , 19, 77. Short 

story; uncollected. 

"Perishable Freight." I (February, 1934), 
52-53, 111. Short story; uncollected. 

"Little Angevine." I (April, 1934), 40, 111, 
115; Part One. I (May, 1934) , 54-55, 132, 134; 
Part Two. Short story; uncollected. 

"The Kid Across the River." II (August 
1934), 56. Short short story; collected in 
Bedside Esquire. 

"Donald McKay of the Clippers." XIII 
(April, 1940), 42-43, 165-166, 168. Article; un- 
collected. 

Siobhan McKENIVA (1932- ) 
"An Imaginary Conversation with George 
Bernard Shaw." XLVIII (December, 1957), 
194-195. Article; the "conversation" of GBS 
consists of quotations from his plays; un- 
collected. 

Manrice MAETERLINCK (1862-1949) 
"Science into Fantasy." I (March, 1934) , 24, 

147, 150. [Trans. Ernest Boyd.] Article; un- 
collected. 

Norman King-sley MAILER (1923- ) 
"The Language of Men." XXXIX (April, 
1953), 61, 115-117. Short story; collected in 
The Armchair Esquire. 

Klaus MANN 1906-1949) 

"Le Dernier Cri." XV (May, 1941) , 28-29, 147- 

148, 150. Short story; uncollected. 



"Three German Masters." XXV (January, 
1946), 50, 197-203. Article; uncollected. 
Thomas MANN (1875-1955) 
"The Hungry." III (March, 1935), 22-23. 
Short story; collected in Mann, Stories of 
Three Décades (N. Y.: Knopf, 1936). 
"The Godly Warrior." V (April, 1936), 32- 
33, 203-206. Short story; collected as "Gladius 
Dei" in Mann, Stories of Three Décades; 
and in The Armchair Esquire. 

"That Man Is My Brother." XI (March, 

1939), 31, 132-133. Article; collected as "A 

Brother" in Mann, Order of the Day (N.Y.: 

Knopf, 1942). 

William MARCH [William Edward March 

Campbell] (1894-1955) 

"Mrs. Joe Cotton." II (July, 1934), 38, 127. 

Short story; revised and collected as "Wool- 

len Drawers" in March, Trial Balance (N.Y.: 

Harcourt, Brace, 1945). 

"The Slate and the Sorrow." XXII (Novem- 
ber, 1944) , 84, 186-189. Short story; collected 
in Trial Balance; and in The Esquire Treas- 
ury. 

"A Great Town for Characters." XXV (May, 
1946) , 86, 143-146. Short story; uncollected. 

Edg-ar Lee MASTERS (1868-1950) 

"Two Views of a Rainy Night." II (June, 

1934), 131. Two poems; uncollected. 

"Battery Park in January." III (January, 
1935), 24. Poem; collected in Masters, More 
People (N. Y.: Appleton-Century, 1939). 

"Dreiser at Spoon River." XI (May, 1939), 
66, 146, 151-152, 154, 156, 158. Article; collected 
in The Armchair Esquire, 

"William Marion Reedy: Feaster." XII (Oc- 
tober, 1939) , 67, 148, 150. Article; uncollected. 

"The Time of Ruby Robert." XIII (Feb- 
ruary, 1940) , 33, 152-155. Article; collected in 
Gingrich, éd., Esquire's 2nd Sports Reader 
(N. Y.: Barnes, 1946). 

"Fiddlers of the Ozarks." XXII (November, 
1944), 47, 142-145. Article; autobiographical; 
uncollected. 

William Somerset MAU(ÏHAM (1874- ) 
"The Old Party Goes to London." XXXVIII 
(December, 1952), 91. Article; personal rém- 
iniscence; uncollected. 

André MAUROIS [Emile Salomon Wil- 
helm Herzog-] (1885- ) 

"Forgive Me, Irène." I (January, 1934), 53. 
Short short story; revised and collected as 
"Irène" in Maurois, Ricochets (N. Y.: Harp- 
er, 1935). 

"On the Rebound." I (February, 1934), 67. 
Short short story; revised and collected as 
"Ricochets" in Ricochets. 

"An Idea for a Story." II (July, 1934) , 26, 138. 
Article; collected in Bedside Esquire. 



17 



Mayer — 



"Young Girl in the Snow." IV (December, 
1935), 53, 208-209. Short story; uncoUected. 

"The Odd Dollar." VI (October, 1936), 53, 
200B-203. Short story; uncoUected. 

"Hère, Kitty, Kitty." VII (April, 1937), 59, 
184, 186. Short story; uncoUected. 
"A Case of Conscience." IX (April, 1938). 
39, 152-153. Short story; uncoUected. 

"The DevU in the Mine." X (September, 
1938) , 34, 99-100. Short story; uncoUected. 

"The Schoolboy's Retum." X (October, 
1938) , 51, 168. Short story; coUected in Anne 
Freemantle, éd., Maurois Reader (N. Y.: 
Didier, 1949). 

"The Rôle of Myrrhine." XXIV (December, 
1945), 65, 310-314. Short story; coUected in 
Maurois Reader. 

"How to Get Along with the Americans." 
XXXVII (April, 1952), 54, 130-131. Article; 
uncoUected. 

Martin MAYEB (1928- ) 
"Igor Makes a Record." XL (December, 
1953), 145, 209-213. Article; on recording 
Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress; uncol- 
lected. 

"A Profile of The Daily Worker." XLVIII 
(August, 1957), 113-114, 116. Article; uncol- 
lected. 

"WaU Street: Men and Money." XXXVIII 
(September, 1952), 52-57, 89-90, 92. Article; 
uncoUected. Mayer expanded this into 
the book, Wall Street: Men and Money 
(N. Y.: Harpers, 1955). 

Note: Mayer did regular pièces on musical 
subjects for Esquire, 1954-1958. 
Henry Louis MET<fCKE:?i! (1880-1956) 
"Downfall of a Revolutionary." XIV (Sep- 
tember, 1940) , 27, 122. Article; autobiograph- 
ie; coUected in Mencken, Heathen Days, 
1890-1936 (N. Y.: Knopf, 1943). 
"An Evening on the House." XX (Decem- 
ber, 1943), 63, 233-234, 236, 238-239. Article; 
autobiographical; coUected in The Arm- 
chair Esquire. 

"Obsequies in the Grand Manner." XXI 
(January, 1944), 43, 133-135. Article; auto- 
biographical ; uncoUected. 
"The Crime of McSwane." XXXII (Octo- 
ber, 1949), 74, 132. Short story; reprinted 
from Leslie's Popular Monthly, July, 1902; 
as a literary curiosity, being a youthful imi- 
tation of a Kipling adventure taie. 
Gian-Carlo MENOTTI (1911- ) 
"Vanessa." XLVIII (December, 1957), 114- 
122. Libretto to opéra of the same name, 
with music by Samuel Barber; with illus- 
trations and photographs in inset; opéra 
produced in New York City, 1958. 
James Albert MICHENEB (1907- ) 
"Siva Tonight!" XXXV (March, 1951), 40- 
41, 99. Article; the South Pacific; uncol- 
lected. 



"Proud Queen." XXXV (April, 1951), 76, 
141. Short story; uncoUected. 
"The Precious Drop." XXXVI (December, 
1951), 121, 193-199. Short story; coUected in 
The Esquire Treasury. 

"On the Sendai Train." XXXVH (April, 
1952), 48-49. Short short story; uncoUected. 
Arthur MILLER (1915- ) 
"A Regular Death CaU." XXXII (August, 
1949), 35, 106. Short story; uncoUected. 

"The Misfits." XLVIII (October, 1957), 158, 
160-166. Short story; coUected in The Arm- 
chair Esquire, 

"Bridge to a Savage World." L (October, 
1958), 185-190. Article, on juvénile delin- 
quency, originally prepared as a mémoran- 
dum for a documentary film; uncoUected. 

Gilbert MILLSTEIN (1915- ) 

"The Dark at the Top of WiUiam Inge." 

XLIX (August, 1958), 62-65. Article; uncol- 

lected. 

Ferenc MOLNAR (1878-1952) 
"Heavenly and Earthly Love." IX (April, 
1938), 43, 141. A satirical "dialogue"; col- 
lected in The Amfichair Esquire. 

Nicholas John Tumey MONSARRAT 

(1910- ) 

"The Man Who Wanted a Mark IX." XLI 

( June, 1954) , 41, 129-136. Short story; uncol- 

lected. 

Alberto MORAVIA [Alberto Pincherle] 

(1907- ) 

"The Chinese Dog." XLV (January, 1956), 

55, 116. Short story; coUected in The Arm- 

chair Esquire. 

Wrig-ht MORRIS (1910- ) 

"The Cat in the Picture." XLIX (May, 

1958) , 91, 93-94. Short story; uncoUected. 

Romane MUSSOLINI (1927- ) 
"How ï Remember Papa." L (October, 1958), 
183-184. Article; autobiographical; uncol- 
lected. 

Georg-e Jean NATHAN (1882-1958) 
"First Nights & Passing Judgments." VI 
(October, 1936). This is the first of a month- 
ly séries of dramatic reviews which regular- 
ly appeared through September, 1946, and 
which were variously and frequently in- 
corporated into Nathan, The Théâtre Book 
of the Year, 1942-1942, et seq., published by 
Knopf. 

"Reflections After the Curtains FaU." XLIV 
(August, 1955) . This is the first of a monthly 
séries of dramatic essays which regularly 
appeared through January, 1957, about such 
subjects as burlesque, a plea for a theatrical 
stage, and such writers as O'Casey, O'Neill, 
and Anouilh. 

". . . On Eugène aNeUl." XLVII (June, 
1957), 101. Article; on Long Day's Journey 
Into Night; uncoUected. 



18 



— ^Raphaelson 



"The Happiest Days of H. L. Mencken." 
XLVIII (October, 1957), 146-150. Article; 
collected in The Armchair Esquire. 
"The Golden Boy of the Twenties," "The 
Owner of Main Street's Soap Box," and 
"The Eléphant That Whistled the Polka." 
L (October, 1958), 148-154. Memoirs of F. 
Scott Fitzgerald, Sinclair Lewis, and Théo- 
dore Dreiser; a part of the "Titans Revisited" 
section of Esquire' s 25th Anniversary issue. 
Eichard Lewis NEUBERGER (1912- ) 
"Madison Avenue in Politics." XLVIII 
(August, 1957), 78-80, 82, 84. Article; un- 
collected. 

Frank O'CONNOR [Michael O'Donovan] 
(1903- ) 

"Orpheus and His Lute." V (January, 1936), 
92-93, 111. Short story; collected in O'Con- 
nor, Bones of Contention (N. Y.: Macmil- 
lan, 1936). 

"The Paragon." XLVIII (October, 1957), 116, 
119-120, 123-125. Short story; collected in 
O'Connor, DoTuestic Relations (N. Y.: 
Knopf, 1957). 

Seân O'FAOLAIN (1900- ) 
"The Tall Coorter." V (April, 1936), 36, 166, 
168, 171-172. Short Story; collected in Bed- 
side Esquire. 

LIam O'FLAHERTY (1897- ) 

"Ail Things Corne of Age." III (January, 

1935), 43, 184. Short story; uncollected. 

"The Water Hen." X (August, 1938) , 59, 147. 
Short story; collected in O'Flaherty, Two 
Lovely Beasts (N. Y.: Devin- Adair, 1950). 

"Good Soldiers Play Safe." XVII (May, 
1942), 23, 120-122. Article; uncollected. 

"The Test of Courage." XIX (February, 
1943), 28, 129-130, 132, 134. Short story; un- 
collected. 

"Village Ne'er-Do-Well." XXIV (Septem- 
ber, 1945), 53-54. Article; autobiographie; 
uncollected. 

"The Flûte Player." XXVII (March, 1947), 
41, 127-129. Short story; collected in Two 
Lovely Beasts. 

«I Go to Sea." XXXVIII (September, 1952), 
38-39, 85-86, 88. Short story; uncollected. 

"The Mirror." XL (November, 1953), 58, 146. 
Short story; collected in O'Flaherty, The 
Stories (N. Y.: Devin- Adair, 1956). 

"The Fanatic." XL (December, 1953), 90, 
194, 196, 198. Short story; uncollected. 

"The Blow." XUI (July, 1954), 32-33, 110- 
113. Short story; collected in The Stories. 

John Henry O'HARA (1905- ) 

"Little 'Chita." VI (August, 1936), 41, 168. 

Short story; uncollected. 

Dorothy Rothschild PARKER (1893- ) 
"Best Fiction of 1957." XLVIU (December, 



1957), 60, 62, 64, 66. Article; uncollected. 
Note: beginning May, 1958, Dorothy Parker 
contributed a monthly book review column 
to Esquire. 

Elliot Harold PAUL (1891-1958) 
"Gertrude, Alas, Alas." XXVI (July, 1946), 
62, 189-193. Article; on Gertrude Stein; col- 
lected in The Esquire Treasury. 

Louis PAUL (1901- ) 
"No More Trouble for Jedwick." I (March, 
1934), 58-59, 148. Short story; collected in 
Harry Hansen, éd., O. Henry Mémorial 
Award Prize Stories of 1934 (N. Y.: Double- 
day Doran, 1934). [Awarded Ist Prize.] 

Luigi PIRANDELLO (1867-1936) 
"With Other Eyes." II (July, 1934), 54-55. 
Short story; collected in The Armchair Es- 
quire*. 

Ezra Loomis POUND (1885- ) 
"Gaudier: A Postscript." II (August, 1934), 
73-74. Article; uncollected. [Photographie 
reproduction of G-B's "Hieratic Head" of 
Pound, p. 16.] 

"Riposte From Rapallo." II (October, 1934), 
12. Letter to the editor, in which Pound cor- 
rects, among other things, errors in his ar- 
ticle on Gaudier [August, 1934]; uncollected. 

"Reflexshuns On Iggurunce." III (January, 
1935) , 55, 133. Article; on international crédit; 
collected in The Armchair Esquire. 

"Mug's Game?" III (February, 1935), 35, 148. 
Article; uncollected. 

"A Matter of Modesty." III (May, 1935) , 31, 
Article; uncollected. 

"Hickory— Old and New." III (June, 1935), 
40, 156. Article; uncollected. 
"A Thing of Beauty." IV (November, 1935) , 
49, 195-197. Article; uncollected. 

"How to Save Business." V (January, 1936) , 
35, 195-196. Article; uncollected. 
Fletcher PRATT (1897-1956) 
"The Ordeal of John Paul Jones." XXIV 
(December, 1945), 66. Article; uncollected. 

Théodore PRATT (1901- ) 
"The Owl That Kept Winking." XXI 
(June, 1944), 48, 124-125. Short story; col- 
lected in Martha Foley, éd., The Best Amer- 
ican Short Stories of 1945 (Boston: Hough- 
ton Mifflin, 1945) . 

Frédéric PROKOSCH (1908- ) 
"The Murderer." IV (July, 1935), 64, 144. 
Short story; uncollected. 

"The Trip to Granada." XXVII (February, 
1947), 41, 157-160. Short story; uncollected. 

James PURDY (1923- ) 

"Night and Day." L (July, 1958), 108-112. 

Short story; uncollected. 

Samson RAPHAELSON (1896- ) 
"Design in Confetti." XXIX (January, 
1948), 62, 171-174. Short story; uncollected. 



19 



Reynolds — 



Quentin James REYNOLDS (1902- ) 

"Holbein's Star Performance." XXIX 

(March, 1948), 33, 121-125. Short story; un- 

collected. 

"A Glass of Orange Juice." XXXI (January, 

1949), 36, 101-102, 104, 106-108, 111. Short 

story; collected in H. U. Ribalow, éd. The 

World's Greatest Boocing Stories (N. Y.: 

Twain, 1952). 

"The Third Vase." XXXII (December, 1949), 

78, 181-182. Short story; uncollected. 

"The Third Act." XXXIV (December, 1950), 
86, 151-152, 154, 156, 158, 160. Short story; un- 
collected. 

Kenneth REXROTH (1905- ) 

"Jazz and Poetry." XLIX (May, 1958), 20, 

22. Article; uncollected. 

Bie^o RIVERA (1886-1957) 

"Stalin, Undertaker of the Révolution." XIII 

(May, 1940), 35, 114. Article; uncollected. 

Henry Morton ROBINSON (1898- ) 
"The Curious Case of Thornton Wilder." 
XLVII (March, 1957), 71, 124-126. Article; 
uncollected. 

Selden RODMAÎï^ (1909- ) 

"Consuelo at the Country Club." X (July, 

1938), 38. Poem; uncollected. 

James ROOSEVELT (1907- ) 

"Life Because of Father." XLVIII (Novem- 

ber, 1957), 43-46. Article; autobiographical; 

uncollected. 

Phillip ROTH (1933- ) 

"Heard Mélodies Are Sweeter." L (August, 

1958) , 60. Short story; uncollected. 

Richard Halworth ROYERE (1915- ) 
"The Question of Ezra Poimd." XLVIII 
(September, 1957), 66, 68, 71-72, 74-75, 78, 80. 
Article; EP's sanity and incarcération; col- 
lected in The Armchair Esquive. 

"Aftermath: The Question of Ezra Pound." 
XLVIII (December, 1957), 12, 14, 16, 18, 20. 
Letters to the editor; Rovere's article on 
EP produced such a spirited reply, that the 
letters were grouped separately. Letters 
are from John Dos Passos, Van Wyck 
Brooks, Marianne Moore, Osbert Sitwell, 
Howard Nemerov, Richard Wilbur, Wallace 
Fowlie, Mark Schorer, Norman Mailer, 
Kenneth Rexroth, Robert Graves, and Pa- 
trick Murphy Malin. 

"Best Nonfiction of 1957." XLVIII (Decem- 
ber, 1957), 68, 70, 72, 76, 80. Article; uncol- 
lected. 

"Aftermath: The Question of Ezra Pound." 
XLVIII (January, 1958) , 135, 136. Letters to 
the editor from Babette Deutsch, J. V. Cun- 
ningham, Andrew Lytle, William Carlos 
Williams. 

"Aftermath: The Question of Ezra Pound." 
XLIX (February, 1958), 22B, 24-26. Letters 



to the editor from Robert L. Allen, Richard 
Chase, T. D. Horton, Selden Rodman. 

"The Last Days of Joe McCarthy." L (Aug- 
ust, 1958), 29-34. Article; uncollected. 
Alfred Damon RUNYON (1884-1946) 
"They Saw That They Were Naked." 
XXXIX (May, 1953), 58, 114. Article; "the 
last pièce he wrote"; uncollected. 
Bertrand Arthur William RUSSELL, 
LORD RUSSELL (1872- ) 
"Technique for Politicians." I (March, 
1934), 26, 133. Article; uncollected. 

"The Limitations of Self -Help." II (October, 
1934), 27. Article; uncollected. 

"The Sphère of Liberty." IV (July, 1935), 
29. Article; uncollected. [Above three essays 
not included in "Bibliography of Bertrand 
Russell to 1944," compiled by Lester E. De- 
nonn, in P. A. Schilpp, éd., Philosophy of 
Bertrand Russell (Chicago: Northwestern 
University, 1944) , pp. 743-790.] 

Jérôme David SALINGER (1919- ) 
"The Heart of a Broken Story." XVI (Sep- 
tember, 1941), 32, 131-133. Short story; un- 
collected. 

"This Sandwich Has No Mayonnaise." 
XXIV (October, 1945), 54-56, 147-149. Short 
story; collected in The Armchair Esquire. 
Félix SALTEIV (1869-1945) 
"A Shot in the Forest." III (February, 1935), 
22-23, 172-173. [Trans. Fritz Sallagar.] Short 
story; collected in Bedside Esquire. 

"Judgment of Orestes." XII (October, 1939), 
72, 120, 122. Short story; uncollected. 

Cari SANDBURG (1878- ) 
"Metropolis: U. S. A." XXIX (April, 1948), 
60-61. Poetry; two poems: "The Windy 
City" and "Smoke Blue"; reprinted from 
Sandburg, Slahs of the Sunhumt West 
(N. Y.: Harcourt, Brace, 1922) and Good 
Morning, America (N. Y.: Harcourt, Brace, 
1928). 

William SAROYAN (1908- ) 
"Little Miss Universe." II (December, 1934) , 
37, 180, 182-185. Short story; collected in 
Saroyan, Inhale & Exhale (N. Y.: Random 
House, 1936) . 

"$2400 for Kindness." IV (August, 1935), 39, 
126, 128. Short story; collected as "Two 
Thousand Four Hundred and Some Odd 
Dollars for Kindness" in Inhale & Exhale. 

"The Man in the Yellow Coupe." V (May, 
1936), 84-85. Short story; imcoUected. 

"The Beautiful White Horse." IX (June, 
1939), 63, 177-178, 180. Short story; collected 
as "The Summer of the Beautiful White 
Horse" in Saroyan, My Name Is Aram 
(N. Y.: Harcourt, Brace, 1942); and in 
Harry Hansen, éd., O. Henry Mémorial 
Award Prize Stories of 1938 (N. Y.: Double- 
day Doran, 1938). 



20 



— Sinclair 



Arthur Meier SCHLESIIVGER, Jr. 

(1917- ) 

"The Age of Roosevelt." XLVII (April, 
1957), 79-82. Article; condensation before 
publication from Schlesinger, The Age of 
Roosevelt, Vol. I (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 
1957). 

Mark SCHORER (1908- ) 
"To Make Life Seem FuU," VII (April, 
1937), 82-83, 140. Short story; coUected in 
Schorer, The State of Mind (N. Y.: Hough- 
ton Mifflin, 1947). 

"The Long Embrace." XV (June, 1941), 
86-87, 141-145. Short story; coUected in The 
State of Mind. 

"Another Country." XLVIII (July, 1957), 
55, 57. Short story; uncollected. 
Budd Wilson SCHULBERG (1914- ) 
"The Real Viennese Schmalz." XVI (Sep- 
tember, 1941), 68, 102-103. Short story; col- 
lected in Martha Foley, éd., The Best Amer- 
ican Short Stories of 1942 (N. Y.: Houghton 
Mifflin, 1942). 

"The Downfall of Innocence." XX (July, 
1943) , 69. Short story; coUected as "A Short 
Digest of a Long Novel" in Schulberg, Some 
Faces in the Crowd (N. Y.: Random House, 
1953). 

"The Breaking Point." XXX (December, 
1948), 78, 215-218. Short story; coUected in 
Some Faces in the Crowd and in Girls From 
Esquire. 

"The Dare." XXXI (May, 1949), 38, 97-98, 
100-101. Short story; coUected in Some Faces 
in the Crowd. 

"The Legend that Walks Like a Man." 
XXXIV (August, 1950), 41, 99-100. Short 
story; coUected in Some Faces in the Crowd. 

"What Made Tiger Rag?" XXXIV (Septem- 
ber, 1950), 57. Article; uncollected. 

"A Free Man." XL (August, 1953), 32. Short 
short story; uncoUected. 

"Hollywood vs. Chris Samuels, at Nine." XL 
(December, 1953), 109. Short story; uncol- 
lected. 

William Buehler SEABROOK (1886-1945) 
"The Yatanga Naba." IV (November, 1935) , 
43, 161-164. Short story; uncollected. 

Allan SEAGER (1906- ) 
"As a Little Child." XI (March, 1939), 65, 
168-170. Short story; uncollected. 
"Jersey, Guernsey, Aldemey, Sark." XVI 
(August, 1941) , 40, 120-121. Short story; col- 
lected in Seager, The Old Man of the 
Mountain (N. Y.: Simon & Schuster, 1950). 
"The Half Dollar with the Hole in It and the 
Little Candy Hearts." XLVIII (September, 
1957), 118. Short short story; uncollected. 
"It's Hard to Recognize a Drowning Man." 
XLIX (March, 1958), 63-64. Short story; un- 
collected. 



Georg-e Bernard SHAW (1857-1950) 
"The Love Letters of Bernard Shaw." XLIX 
(April, 1958) , 63-65. Letters to Alice Lockett, 
coUected in The Armchair Esquire. 

Irwin SHAW (1913- ) 

"The Monument." XI (June, 1939), 40, 132, 

134. Short story; coUected in Shaw's Sailor 

Off the Bremen (N. Y.: Random House, 

1939.) 

"Résidents of Other Cities." XII (July, 
1939), 32-33, 155. Short story; coUected in 
Sailor Off the Bremen. 

"It Happened in Rochester." XII (December, 
1939), 128, 280-282. Short story; coUected in 
Shaw, Welcome to the City (N. Y.: Random 
House, 1942). 

"The House of Pain." XIV (November, 
1940), 95, 189-190. Short story; coUected in 
Welcome to the City. 

"Triumph of Justice." XIV (December, 
1940), 99, 270-273. Short story; coUected in 
Welcome to the City; and in E. J. O'Brien, 
éd., Best Short StoHes of 1941 (N. Y.: 
Houghton Mifflin, 1941). 

"The Eighty-Yard Run." XV (January, 
1941), 23, 164-167. Short story; coUected in 
Welcome to the City. 

"The Convert." XXVIII (September, 1947), 
42-43, 143-146. Short story; coUected in Girls 
From, Esquire. 

"The Singing Brute." XXVIII (October, 
1947), 64-65, 147-148, 150. Short story; un- 
collected. 

"The Circle of Light." L (October, 1958), 
226-ff. Short story; uncollected. 

James Vincent SHEEAN (1899- ) 

"Three Dead Geese." IV (July, 1935), 26, 

170. Article; uncollected. 

"Over Mozart's Memory." IV (November, 

1935), 38, 178. Article; uncoUected. 

"The New Road." IV (December, 1935), 43, 

212-216. Short story; coUected in Sheean, 

The Pièces of a Fan (N. Y.: Doubleday 

Doran, 1937). 

Max SHULMAN (1919- ) 
"Spanish Spoken Hère." XXIII (January, 
1945), 52-53, 145-147. Short story; coUected 
in The Esquire Treasury. 

"My Regards to Morpheus." XXIII (March, 
1945), 71, 138-139. Short story; uncollected. 

"One Shoe Ofï." XXXVIII (September, 
1952), 40, 108-111. Short story; uncollected. 

Georg-es SIMENON (1903- ) 

"The Case of Dr. Ceccioni." IV (November, 

1935) , 84. Short short story; uncollected. 

Jo SINCLAIR [Riith Seîd] (1913- ) 
"Children at Play." IX (January, 1938) , 45, 
124. Short story; coUected in J. DeL. Fergu- 
son, et al.. Thème and Variation in the 
Short Story (N. Y.: Dryden, 1938). 



21 



Sinclair- 



Upton Beau SINCLAIR (1878- ) 
"We Choose Our Future." IV (August, 
1935), 20, 167-168. Article; uncoUected. 
SachevereO SÏTWELL (1897- ) 
"Les Châteaux de la Loire." L (September, 
1958) , 48-51. Article; uncoUected. 
Harry AUen SMITH (1907- ) 
"The Admirable Avery." XL (December, 
1953), 131, 240-241. Short story; uncoUected. 
Eobert Paul SMITH (1915- ) 
"About a Place CaUed GabrieUe's." XUX 
(March, 1958), 85-86. Short story; uncol- 
lected. 

Laurence STALLINGS (1894- ) 
"The Youth in the Abyss." XXXVI (Octo- 
ber, 1951) , 47, 107-111. Article; F. Scott Fitz- 
gerald in HoUywood; uncoUected. 

"Last Talk with Damon Runyon." XL VIII 
(November, 1957), 61. Article; uncoUected. 

"Hitler Did Not Dance That Jig." L (Octo- 

ber, 1958) , 264. 

Vincent STAKRETT (1886- ) 

"Alibi in a Roadhouse." I (Autumn, 1933), 

73, 89. Short story; uncoUected. 

"A Note on Mr. Sherlock Holmes." I (May, 
1934), 59, 96, 98. Article; uncoUected. 
"ProUfic Papas." XLIV (July, 1955), 92, 
118. Article; uncoUected. 
Wallace Earle STEG^NER (1909- ) 
"He Who Spits at the Sky." XUX (March, 
1958), 140, 143-154. Short story; uncoUected. 
John Ernst STEIIVBECK (1902- ) 
"The Lonesome Vigilante." VI (October, 
1936), 35, 186A-186B. Short story; coUected 
as "The Vigilante" in Steinbeck, The Long 
Valley (N. Y.: Viking, 1938) ; and in Esquive 
Treasury. 

"The Ears of Johnny Bear." VIII (Septem- 
ber, 1937) , 35, 195-200. Short story; coUected 
as "Johnny Bear" in The Long Valley. 

"A Snake of One's Own." IX (February, 
1938), 31, 178-180. Short story; coUected as 
"The Snake" in The Long Valley. 

"The Trial of Arthur Miller." XL VII (June, 
1957), 86. Article; coUected in The Arm- 
chair Esqiiire. 

James STERN (1904- ) 

"Strangers Defeated." XIX (January, 1943), 

74, 185-188. Short story; uncoUected. 

"The Man Behind the Bar." XXIII (June, 
1945), 52-53, 116. Short story; revised and 
coUected as "The Face Behind the Bar" 
in Stern, The Man Who Was Loved (N. Y.: 
Harcourt, Brace, 1951). 

Georg-e Rippey STEWART (1895- ) 
"Melodrama in the Forties." XXIII (March, 
1945), 100-102. Article; on naming towns, 
rivers, and mountains in the 1840's; uncol- 
lected. 

"McGinnity's Rock." XXVII (January, 



1947), 102-103. Short story; uncoUected. 
Léonard Alfred George STRONG 
(1896- ) 

"Over the Toast." II (September, 1934), 44, 
141-142. A dialogue; uncoUected. 

"The Escape." III (January, 1935), 79, 126. 
Short story; uncoUected. 

"The Come-Back." III (June, 1935), 39, 
167-170. Short story; coUected in Esquire's 
2nd Sports Reader. 

"The Ails of Clonbocketty." X (August, 
1938), 38, 140-141. Article; uncoUected. 

"A Marriage of Convenience." XV (May, 
1941), 30, 172-173. Short story; uncoUected. 

Jesse Hilton STUART (1907- ) 

"The BaUad of Lonesome Waters." V 

(June, 1936), 32-33. Poem; uncoUected. 

"Uncle Fonse Laughed." VI (September, 
1936), 32-33, 182, 184, 186. Short story; col- 
lected in Bedside Esquire. Note: in aU, 
Stuart published sixty-two stories and 
poems in Esquire, 1936-1956. 

Harvey B. SWADOS (1920- ) 

"Year of Grâce." XUX (June, 1958), 157- 

169. Short story; uncoUected. 

Robert Myron SWITZER (1923- ) 
"The Big Bout." XXVIII (August, 1947), 
26-27, 126. Short story; imcoUected. 

"Death of a Prize Fighter." XXXI (June, 
1949), 39, 109-110. Short story; coUected in 
H. Brickell, éd., PHze Stories of 1950 
(N. Y.: Doubleday Doran, 1950); and in H. 
Ribalow, éd., World' s Greatest Boxing 
StoHes (N. Y.: Twain, 1952), and in The Es- 
quire Treasury. Note: in ail, Switzer pub- 
lished seven stories in Esquire, 1947-1952. 
Harry SYLVESTER (1908- ) 
"The Crazy Guy." IX (AprU, 1936), 102, 
188-189. Short story; coUected in Sylvester, 
AU Your Idols (N. Y.: Holt, 1948); and in 
The Best Stories of 1939. 

Dylan Mariais THOMAS (1914-1953) 
"A ChUd's Christmas in Wales." XLIV (De- 
cember, 1955) , 95-102. Short story. "A Child's 
Christmas in Wales" first appeared in Quite 
Early One Morning (N. Y.: New Directions, 
1954) . This printing appeared simultaneous- 
ly with a gift book, limited édition, pub- 
lished by New Directions in December, 1955. 
Jim TULLY (1888-1947) 
"The Worm That Turned." I (May, 1934), 
24, 110. Short story; uncoUected. 
"The Last Carnival." II (June, 1934) , 27, 98, 
102. Article; autobiographie; comment on 
Faulkner in Hollywood; uncoUected. 
"The Manly Art." II (July, 1934) , 63-64, 114. 
Article; uncoUected. 

"Senor Diego Rivera." II (August, 1934), 
48-49, 168-169. Article; revised and coUected 
in TuUy, A Dozen and One (Hollywood: 
Murray & Gee, 1943). 



22 



— ^Wechsberg 



"Over a Barrel." II (October, 1934), 54, 139. 
Article; autobiograpny as related to Tully 
by W. C. Fields; uncoUected. 
"Glancing Backward." II (December, 1934) , 
59, 146, 149. Article; autobiography as re- 
lated to Tully by Paul Muni; uncollected. 

"A Harvest Memory." VI (December, 1936) , 
59, 308, 310-313. Article; uncollected. 

"Case of Convict 1174." VII (February, 
1937), 48, 203-204. Short story; uncollected. 

"The Dying Hobo." VII (April, 1937), 101. 
Poem; uncollected. 

"The King of Laughter." VII (June, 1937), 
47, 231-235. Article; collected as "Charlie 
Chaplin" in A Dozen and One. 

"Portrait of My Father." XII (November, 
1939), 90-91, 120. Article; uncollected. 
"The Saga of the Big Dane." XX (August, 
1943), 124. Article; on Hollywood; uncol- 
lected. 

John Roberts TUNIS (1889- ) 
"The Great Dépression of 1965." XLVIII 
(October, 1957), 108. Short short story; un- 
collected. 

Léon TROZKY [Lev Davidovitch Trotskii 
né Bronstein] (1879-1940) 
"Clouds in the Far East." II (August, 1934), 
20-21. Article; uncollected. 

Lonis UNTERMEYER (1885- ) 
"Sinderella, Incorporated." XXVI (Decem- 
ber, 1946), 101, 249-250, 252. Article; uncol- 
lected. 

"My Own Five-Foot Shelf." XXVIII (Au- 
gust, 1947), 34, 120-125. Article; a list of 50 
great books; uncollected. 

"Plot Luck or Situations Wanted." XXX 
(July, 1948), 78, 144. Article; uncollected. 

Rog-er VAILLAND (1907- ) 
"The Game of the Law." L (October, 1958) , 
191-198. Episode from 1957 Prix Cîoncourt 
novel La Loi, Translated by Peter Wiles as 
The Law (N. Y.: Knopf, 1958). 

John WAIN (1925- ) 

"Rafferty." XLIX (April, 1958), 84-86. Short 

story; uncollected. 

Frédéric WAKEMAN (1909- ) 

"You Hâve to Sell Yourself." XL (August, 

1953), 46, 108-109. Short story; uncollected. 

"The Cossacks and the VioUn." XL (De- 
cember, 1953), 87, 201-207. Short story; un- 
collected. 

Jakob WASSERMANN (1873-1934) 
"Geronimo de Aguilar." II (June, 1934) , 30- 
31, 158B, 160. [Trans. Eric Posselt and Michel 
Kraika.] Short story; collected in Bedside 
Esquire. 

Alec WAUGH (1898- ) 

"The Wicked Baronet." XXXV (March, 

1951), 37, 100, 102. Short story; uncollected. 



"Something Worth Waiting For." XXXIX 
(February, 1953), 25, 103-105. Short story; 
uncollected. 

"Small Back Room in St. Marylebone." 
XXXIX (March, 1953), 35-37, 98, 101. Short 
story; uncollected. 

"Nearing Sixty." XLVIII (July, 1957), 98, 
100, 103-104. Article; autobiographical re- 
flections; uncollected. 
Evelyn Arthur St. John WAUGH 
(1903- ) 

"St. Francis Xavier's Bones." XL (Decem- 
ber, 1953), 83, 226-229. Article; the saint's 
bones in Goa; collected in The Armchair 
Esquire. 

Joseph WECHSBERG (1907- ) 
"Honorable Composer Big Click." XXI 
(March, 1944), 45, 157-161. Article; collected 
in The Esquire Treasury. 

"Sports Writer's Nightmare." XXII (No- 
vember, 1944), 82-83, 175-177. Article; un- 
collected. 

"New Year's at Boeuf Stroganoff." XXII 
(December, 1944), 186, 283-285. Article; un- 
collected. 

"A Visitor from America." XXIII (January, 
1945), 54, 148-152. Article; uncollected. 

"The Terrors of Law." XXIV (December, 
1945), 81, 283-287. Article; uncollected. 

"Opening in Algiers." XXV (January, 1946) , 
90-91, 170, 172. Article; uncollected. 

"Revolt with Strmgs." XXVIII (July, 1947), 
59, 201-203. Short story; uncollected. 

"East on the Sealed Express." XXXVIII 
(November, 1952), 47, 117-120. Article; un- 
collected. 

"The Emperor's Folly." XL (November, 
1953), 54-55, 115-116. Short story; uncol- 
lected. 

"Ail Quiet on the Eastern Front." XLI 
(January, 1954), 39, 120-125. Article; un- 
collected. 

"Apfelstrudel and Old Lace." XLIII 
(March, 1955), 51, 120-123. Article; uncol- 
lected. 

"Three Times Zéro." XLIII (April, 1955), 

57, 139-142. Article; uncollected. 

"This Is Vienna." XLIV (September, 1955), 

58, 137-139. Article; uncollected. 

"The Gothic Murais Scandai." XLIV (De- 
cember, 1955) , 141, 244-246. Article; art forg- 
ery; uncollected. 

"Budapest Revisited." XLV (April, 1956), 
58, 124, 127-128. Article; uncollected. 

"Laughter in the Wrong Place." XLVI 
(September, 1956), 49, 132-134. Article; un- 
collected. 

"Monsieur Tranquille." XLVII (May, 1957), 
55, 115-116, 118. Article; the Vienna Staat- 
soper; luicollected. 



23 



Weidman — 



-Zweig 



Jérôme WEIDMAN (1913- ) 
"Everybody Wants To Be a Lady" VII 
(May, 1937), 63, 244, 245. Short story; col- 
lected in Weidman, The Horse That Could 
Whistle Dixie (N. Y.: Simon & Schuster, 
1939). 

"Foreign Exchange." XLI (April, 1954), 51, 
113-115. Short story; uncollected. 

Franz WERFEL (1890-1945) 
"The Bulletproof Hidalgo." XV (February, 
1941), 28, 151-155. Short story; coUected in 
Herman Kesten and Klaus Mann, eds., Best 
of Mod.em European Literature (Philadel- 
phia: Blakiston, 1945). 

Heinz WERNEB (1901- ) 
"Black Tobias and the Empire." IX (May, 
1938), 36-37, 107. Short story; collected in 
Best Short Stories of 1939. 

Anthony C. WEST (1910- ) 
"Narcissus Unto Echo." XLV (May, 1956), 
51, 134-137. Short story; collected in West, 
River's End and Other Stories (N. Y.: Mc- 
Dowell-Obolensky, 1958) . 

"The Tuming Page." XLVI (December, 
1956) , 117-122. Short story; collected in Riv- 
er's End. 

"River's End." XLVII (March, 1957) , 39-58. 
Long short story; collected in River's End. 

"Not Isaac." XLVIII (September, 1957), 114- 
115. Short story; collected in River's End. 

"Song of the Barrow." L ( July, 1958) , 82-84. 
Short story; collected in River's End. 

Théodore Harold WHITE (1915- ) 
"The Mountain Road." XLIX (May, 1958), 
122, 124, 126, 128, 131-132, 134, 136, 138, 140, 
143-146. Episode from novel, The Mountain 
Road (N. Y.: Morrow-Sloane, 1958). 
Edward Reed WHÎTTEMORE (1919- ) 
"Nice Fireplace, Good Beach." XLVIII 
(July, 1957), 108-110. Short story; uncollected. 

"The Cuteness of Well-Being: The Gift 
Shoppe." L (October, 1958), 280, 283-284. 
Article; uncollected. 

Percival WILDE (1887-1953) 

"Sait for Savor." XL (December, 1953) , 158- 

160, 162, 164-166. A play; a comedy in one 

act; uncollected. 

Ben Ames WILLIAMS (1889-1953) 

"The Jawbreaker." XXXIII (June, 1950), 

75, 111-114, 116. Short story; uncollected. 

Tennessee WILLIAMS [Thomas Lanier] 

(1914- ) 

"A Perfect Analysis Given by a Parrot." 
L (October, 1958), 131-134. Short play for 
subséquent présentation on télévision; un- 
collected. 

Thomas WILLIAMS 

«Goose Pond." XLVIII (November, 1957), 
149-154. Short story; collected in P. Engle 
and K. Harnac, eds., Prize Stories of 1959 
(N. Y.: Doubleday, 1958). 



"The Buck in Trotevale's." L (August, 1958) , 
102-108, 110, 113-115. Short story; uncollected. 
Ang-us Frank Johnstone WILSON 
(1913- ) 

"Ten Minutes to Twelve." XLVIII (Decem- 
ber, 1957), 162, 164-166. 168-169, 171. Short 
story; collected in Wilson, A Bit off the 
Map (N. Y.: Viking, 1957). 
Thomas Clayton WOLFE (1900-1938) 
"Arnold Pentland." III (June, 1935), 26, 150- 
152. Short story; collected as "A Kinsman of 
His Blood" in Wolfe, The Hills Beyond 
(N. Y.: Harper, 1941); and in The Armchair 
Esquire. 

"The Hollow Men." XIV (October, 1940), 
27, 115, 116. Short story; incorporated into 
Wolfe, You Can't Go Home Again (N. Y.: 
Harper, 1940), pp. 460-463, 467-469, 470-475, 
476-477, 478, 479. [See Cfeorge R. Preston, Jr., 
Thomas Wolfe, A Bihliography (N. Y.: 
Boesen, 1943), p. 74.] 

"Welcome to Our City." XLVIII (October, 
1957) , 58-82. A play; in ten scènes; published 
hère for the first time; uncollected. 
Ira WOLFERT (1908- ) 
"Ofe the Highway." VIII (October, 1937), 
65, 190-192, 194. Short story; collected in 
The Best Short Stories of 1938. 
"The Indomitable Blue." XL (December, 
1953), 94-95, 217-224. Short story; collected 
in P. Engle and H. Martin, eds., Prize Stories 
of 1955 (N. Y.: Doubleday, 1955). 
Herman WOUK (1915- ) 
"Irrésistible Force." XXXVIII (August, 
1952), 27, 96. Short story; collected in The 
Esquire Treasury. 
Frank Lloyd WRIGHT (1869- ) 
"Away with the Realtor." L (October, 1958), 
179-180. Article; uncollected. 
Richard WRIGHT (1909- ) 
"Big, Black, Good Man." XLVIII (Novem- 
ber, 1957), 74-76, 78, 80. Short story; uncol- 
lected. 

Ida Alexa Ross WYLIE (1885- ) 
"End of Season." XLI (March, 1954), 38-39, 
90. Short story; uncollected. 
Francis Brett YOUNG (1884-1954) 
"It's an 111 Wind." IV (September, 1935), 
56-57, 119. Short story; collected in Young, 
The Ship's Surgeon' s Yam (N. Y.: Reynal 
& Hitchcock, 1940). 
Lajos ZILAHY (1891- ) 
"But for This . . ." IV (October, 1935), 103. 
Short story; his first to be translated into 
English; collected in Bedside Esquire. 
"The Silver Winged Windmill." V (June, 
1936), 61, 150. Short story; uncollected. 
Arnold ZWEIG (1887- ) 
"The Pigeons." II (July, 1935), 30-31. Short 
story; uncollected. 

"The Old Man of the Sea." V (March, 1936), 
32-33. Short story; uncollected. 



24 



Due 


Date 
Retumed 


Due 
Due 


Retumed 








, 


DFn 1A '-iy 


m^ 






•nn A Ç\ 


Q^fl 






APK IVJ 


3 3V 






NUV 


4 2ÔÛ2 




















































1 
































































































i 






























KEEP CARD IN POCKET 






<^ 








Date 


Due 




DUE 


RETURNED 


DUE 


RETURNED